Pre-saccadic shifts of visual attention.


Harrison, W.J., Mattingley, J.B. & Remington, R.W. Pre-saccadic shifts of visual attention. PLoS ONE 7, e45670 (2012). Copy at


The locations of visual objects to which we attend are initially mapped in a retinotopic frame of reference. Because each saccade results in a shift of images on the retina, however, the retinotopic mapping of spatial attention must be updated around the time of each eye movement. Mathôt and Theeuwes [1] recently demonstrated that a visual cue draws attention not only to the cue's current retinotopic location, but also to a location shifted in the direction of the saccade, the "future-field". Here we asked whether retinotopic and future-field locations have special status, or whether cue-related attention benefits exist between these locations. We measured responses to targets that appeared either at the retinotopic or future-field location of a brief, non-predictive visual cue, or at various intermediate locations between them. Attentional cues facilitated performance at both the retinotopic and future-field locations for cued relative to uncued targets, as expected. Critically, this cueing effect also occurred at intermediate locations. Our results, and those reported previously [1], imply a systematic bias of attention in the direction of the saccade, independent of any predictive remapping of attention that compensates for retinal displacements of objects across saccades [2].


Last updated on 04/12/2013