Influence of environmental statistics on inhibition of saccadic return.
ABSTRACT: Initiating an eye movement is slowed if the saccade is directed to a location that has been fixated in the recent past. We show that this inhibitory effect is modulated by the temporal statistics of the environment: If a return location is likely to become behaviorally relevant, inhibition of return is absent. By fitting an accumulator model of saccadic decision-making, we show that the inhibitory effect and the sensitivity to local statistics can be dissociated in their effects on the rate of accumulation of evidence, and the threshold controlling the amount of evidence needed to generate a saccade.
Project description:The interest in saccadic IOR is funneled by the hypothesis that it serves a clear functional purpose in the selection of fixation points: the facilitation of foraging. In this study, we arrive at a different interpretation of saccadic IOR. First, we find that return saccades are performed much more often than expected from the statistical properties of saccades and saccade pairs. Second, we find that fixation durations before a saccade are modulated by the relative angle of the saccade, but return saccades show no sign of an additional temporal inhibition. Thus, we do not find temporal saccadic inhibition of return. Interestingly, we find that return locations are more salient, according to empirically measured saliency (locations that are fixated by many observers) as well as stimulus dependent saliency (defined by image features), than regular fixation locations. These results and the finding that return saccades increase the match of individual trajectories with a grand total priority map evidences the return saccades being part of a fixation selection strategy that trades off exploration and exploitation.
Project description:Adaptive behavior in a nonstationary world requires humans to learn and track the statistics of the environment. We examined the mechanisms of adaptation in a nonstationary environment in the context of visual-saccadic inhibition of return (IOR). IOR is adapted to the likelihood that return locations will be refixated in the near future. We examined 2 potential learning mechanisms underlying adaptation: (a) a local tracking or priming mechanism that facilitates behavior that is consistent with recent experience and (b) a mechanism that supports retrieval of knowledge of the environmental statistics based on the contextual features of the environment. Participants generated sequences of 2 saccadic eye movements in conditions where the probability that the 2nd saccade was directed back to the previously fixated location varied from low (.17) to high (.50). In some conditions, the contingency was signaled by a contextual cue (the shape of the movement cue). Adaptation occurred in the absence of contextual signals but was more pronounced in the presence of contextual cues. Adaptation even occurred when different contingencies were randomly intermixed, showing the parallel formation of multiple associations between context and statistics. These findings are accounted for by an evidence accumulation framework in which the resting baseline of decision alternatives is adjusted on a trial-by-trial basis. This baseline tracks the subjective prior beliefs about the behavioral relevance of the different alternatives and is updated on the basis of the history of recent events and the contextual features of the current environment.
Project description:With every saccade, humans must reconcile the low resolution peripheral information available before a saccade, with the high resolution foveal information acquired after the saccade. While research has shown that we are able to integrate peripheral and foveal vision in a near-optimal manner, it is still unclear which mechanisms may underpin this important perceptual process. One potential mechanism that may moderate this integration process is visual attention. Pre-saccadic attention is a well documented phenomenon, whereby visual attention shifts to the location of an upcoming saccade before the saccade is executed. While it plays an important role in other peri-saccadic processes such as predictive remapping, the role of attention in the integration process is as yet unknown. This study aimed to determine whether the presentation of an attentional distractor during a saccade impaired trans-saccadic integration, and to measure the time-course of this impairment. Results showed that presenting an attentional distractor impaired integration performance both before saccade onset, and during the saccade, in selected subjects who showed integration in the absence of a distractor. This suggests that visual attention may be a mechanism that facilitates trans-saccadic integration.
Project description:Saccadic eye movements occur in sequences, gathering new information about the visual environment to support successful task completion. Here, we examine the control of these saccadic sequences and specifically the extent to which the spatial aspects of the saccadic responses are programmed in parallel. We asked participants to saccade to a series of visual targets and, while they shifted their gaze around the display, we displaced select targets. We found that saccade landing position was deviated toward the previous location of the target suggesting that partial parallel programming of target location information was occurring. The saccade landing position was also affected by the new target location, which demonstrates that the saccade landing position was also partially updated following the shift. This pattern was present even for targets that were the subject of the next fixation. Having a greater preview about the sequence path influenced saccade accuracy with saccades being less affected by relocations when there is less preview information. The results demonstrate that landing positions from a saccade sequence are programmed in parallel and combined with more immediate visual signals.
Project description:Saccadic adaptation is the motor learning process that keeps saccade amplitudes on target. This process is eye position specific: amplitude adaptation that is induced for a saccade at one particular location in the visual field transfers incompletely to saccades at other locations. In our current study, we investigated wether this eye position signal corresponds to the initial or to the final eye position of the saccade. Each case would have different implications on the mechanisms of adaptation. The initial eye position is not directly available, when the adaptation driving post saccadic error signal is received. On the other hand the final eye position signal is not available, when the motor command for the saccade is calculated. In six human subjects we adapted a saccade of 15 degree amplitude that started at a constant position. We then measured the transfer of adaptation to test saccades of 10 and 20 degree amplitude. In each case we compared test saccades that matched the start position of the adapted saccade to those that matched the target of the adapted saccade. We found significantly more transfer of adaptation to test saccades with the same start position than to test saccades with the same target position. The results indicate that saccadic adaptation is specific to the initial eye position. This is consistent with a previously proposed effect of gain field modulated input from areas like the frontal eye field, the lateral intraparietal area and the superior colliculus into the cerebellar adaptation circuitry.
Project description:Control of saccadic gain is often viewed as a simple compensatory process in which gain is adjusted over many trials by the postsaccadic retinal error, thereby maintaining saccadic accuracy. Here, we propose that gain might also be changed by a reinforcement process not requiring a visual error. To test this hypothesis, we used experimental paradigms in which retinal error was removed by extinguishing the target at the start of each saccade and either an auditory tone or the vision of the target on the fovea was provided as reinforcement after those saccades that met an amplitude criterion. These reinforcement procedures caused a progressive change in saccade amplitude in nearly all subjects, although the rate of adaptation differed greatly among subjects. When we reversed the contingencies and reinforced those saccades landing closer to the original target location, saccade gain changed back toward normal gain in most subjects. When subjects had saccades adapted first by reinforcement and a week later by conventional intrasaccadic step adaptation, both paradigms yielded similar degrees of gain changes and similar transfer to new amplitudes and to new starting positions of the target step as well as comparable rates of recovery. We interpret these changes in saccadic gain in the absence of postsaccadic retinal error as showing that saccade adaptation is not controlled by a single error signal. More generally, our findings suggest that normal saccade adaptation might involve general learning mechanisms rather than only specialized mechanisms for motor calibration.
Project description:As our society is ageing globally, neurodegenerative disorders are becoming a relevant issue. Assessment of saccadic eye movement could provide objective values to help to understand the symptoms of disorders. HTC Corporation launched a new virtual reality (VR) headset, VIVE Pro Eye, implementing an infrared-based eye tracking technique together with VR technology. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether the device can be used as an assessment tool of saccadic eye movement and to investigate the technical features of eye tracking. We developed a measurement system of saccadic eye movement with a simple VR environment on Unity VR design platform, following an internationally proposed standard saccade measurement protocol. We then measured the saccadic eye movement of seven healthy young adults to analyze the oculo-metrics of latency, peak velocity, and error rate of pro- and anti-saccade tasks: 120 trials in each task. We calculated these parameters based on the saccade detection algorithm that we have developed following previous studies. Consequently, our results revealed latency of 220.40 ± 43.16 ms, peak velocity of 357.90 ± 111.99°/s, and error rate of 0.24 ± 0.41% for the pro-saccade task, and latency of 343.35 ± 76.42 ms, peak velocity of 318.79 ± 116.69°/s, and error rate of 0.66 ± 0.76% for the anti-saccade task. In addition, we observed pupil diameter of 4.30 ± 1.15 mm (left eye) and 4.29 ± 1.08 mm (right eye) for the pro-saccade task, and of 4.21 ± 1.04 mm (left eye) and 4.22 ± 0.97 mm (right eye) for the anti-saccade task. Comparing between the descriptive statistics of previous studies and our results suggests that VIVE Pro Eye can function as an assessment tool of saccadic eye movement since our results are in the range of or close to the results of previous studies. Nonetheless, we found technical limitations especially about time-related measurement parameters. Further improvements in software and hardware of the device and measurement protocol, and more measurements with diverse age-groups and people with different health conditions are warranted to enhance the whole assessment system of saccadic eye movement.
Project description:One of the factors contributing to a seamless visual experience is object correspondence-that is, the integration of pre- and postsaccadic visual object information into one representation. Previous research had suggested that before the execution of a saccade, a target object is loaded into visual working memory and subsequently is used to locate the target object after the saccade. Until now, studies on object correspondence have not taken previous fixations into account. In the present study, we investigated the influence of previously fixated information on object correspondence. To this end, we adapted a gaze correction paradigm in which a saccade was executed toward either a previously fixated or a novel target. During the saccade, the stimuli were displaced such that the participant's gaze landed between the target stimulus and a distractor. Participants then executed a corrective saccade to the target. The results indicated that these corrective saccades had lower latencies toward previously fixated than toward nonfixated targets, indicating object-specific facilitation. In two follow-up experiments, we showed that presaccadic spatial and object (surface feature) information can contribute separately to the execution of a corrective saccade, as well as in conjunction. Whereas the execution of a corrective saccade to a previously fixated target object at a previously fixated location is slowed down (i.e., inhibition of return), corrective saccades toward either a previously fixated target object or a previously fixated location are facilitated. We concluded that corrective saccades are executed on the basis of object files rather than of unintegrated feature information.
Project description:Each saccade shifts the projections of the visual scene on the retina. It has been proposed that the receptive fields of neurons in oculomotor areas are predictively remapped to account for these shifts. While remapping of the whole visual scene seems prohibitively complex, selection by attention may limit these processes to a subset of attended locations. Because attentional selection consumes time, remapping of attended locations should evolve in time, too. In our study, we cued a spatial location by presenting an attention-capturing cue at different times before a saccade and constructed maps of attentional allocation across the visual field. We observed no remapping of attention when the cue appeared shortly before saccade. In contrast, when the cue appeared sufficiently early before saccade, attentional resources were reallocated precisely to the remapped location. Our results show that pre-saccadic remapping takes time to develop suggesting that it relies on the spatial and temporal dynamics of spatial attention.
Project description:The characteristics of movements are strongly history-dependent. Marinovic et al. (Marinovic W, Poh E, de Rugy A, Carroll TJ. eLife 6: e26713, 2017) showed that past experience influences the execution of limb movements through a combination of temporally stable processes that are strictly use dependent and dynamically evolving and context-dependent processes that reflect prediction of future actions. Here we tested the basis of history-dependent biases for multiple spatiotemporal features of saccadic eye movements under two preparation time conditions (long and short). Twenty people performed saccades to visual targets. To prompt context-specific expectations of most likely target locations, 1 of 12 potential target locations was specified on ~85% of the trials and each remaining target was presented on ~1% trials. In long preparation trials participants were shown the location of the next target 1 s before its presentation onset, whereas in short preparation trials each target was first specified as the cue to move. Saccade reaction times and direction were biased by recent saccade history but according to distinct spatial tuning profiles. Biases were purely expectation related for saccadic reaction times, which increased linearly as the distance from the repeated target location increased when preparation time was short but were similar to all targets when preparation time was long. By contrast, the directions of saccades were biased toward the repeated target in both preparation time conditions, although to a lesser extent when the target location was precued (long preparation). The results suggest that saccade history affects saccade dynamics via both use- and expectation-dependent mechanisms and that movement history has dissociable effects on reaction time and saccadic direction. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The characteristics of our movements are influenced not only by concurrent sensory inputs but also by how we have moved in the past. For limb movements, history effects involve both use-dependent processes due strictly to movement repetition and processes that reflect prediction of future actions. Here we show that saccade history also affects saccade dynamics via use- and expectation-dependent mechanisms but that movement history has dissociable effects on saccade reaction time and direction.