Article

Attention doesn't slide: spatiotopic updating after eye movements instantiates a new, discrete attentional locus.

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
Attention Perception & Psychophysics (Impact Factor: 2.15). 01/2011; 73(1):7-14. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-010-0016-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During natural vision, eye movements can drastically alter the retinotopic (eye-centered) coordinates of locations and objects, yet the spatiotopic (world-centered) percept remains stable. Maintaining visuospatial attention in spatiotopic coordinates requires updating of attentional representations following each eye movement. However, this updating is not instantaneous; attentional facilitation temporarily lingers at the previous retinotopic location after a saccade, a phenomenon known as the retinotopic attentional trace. At various times after a saccade, we probed attention at an intermediate location between the retinotopic and spatiotopic locations to determine whether a single locus of attentional facilitation slides progressively from the previous retinotopic location to the appropriate spatiotopic location, or whether retinotopic facilitation decays while a new, independent spatiotopic locus concurrently becomes active. Facilitation at the intermediate location was not significant at any time, suggesting that top-down attention can result in enhancement of discrete retinotopic and spatiotopic locations without passing through intermediate locations.

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Available from: James A Mazer, Aug 09, 2015
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    • "There seems to be efficient updating even when corollary discharge signals are not present. Golomb and colleagues (Golomb, Chun, & Mazer, 2008; Golomb et al., 2010, 2011) used attentional facilitation to study updating of a memorized location during saccades. Retinotopic facilitation dominated spatiotopic facilitation directly following an eye movement , but within 250 ms facilitation at the irrelevant retinotopic location decayed and facilitation at the spatiotopic coordinates became dominant. "
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    • "For instance, in a retinotopic task (i.e., a task in which participants are explicitly instructed to maintain a location " relative to the eyes " ; Golomb et al., 2008), spatiotopic facilitation was found to be nonexistent. In contrast, in tasks that are characterized by a much stronger spatiotopic emphasis (Golomb, Nguyen-Phuc, et al., 2010; Golomb, Pulido, et al., 2010), the spatiotopic facilitation could equal or exceed the retinotopic trace. For example, when participants were required to maintain attention on the spatiotopic location during the entire trial (Golomb, Nguyen-Phuc, et al., 2010) and to detect targets at this location, this could have created a much higher demand for ongoing spatiotopic attention than was the case in the present experiment, where one could argue that participants were only required to update the subsequent memory probe retrospectively. "
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    • "This pattern in the model matches observations of Sommer and Wurtz (2006) for remapping activity in FEF. It is also consistent with experimental evidence that the locus of attentional facilitation does not slide over intermediate locations during a gaze change (Golomb et al, 2011). In contrast, those data are in conflict with the neural network model of Keith et al (2010), in which a saccade signal present both before and during the gaze change generally produces remapping activity that propagates continuously from the old to the new retinocentric location. "
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