Transsaccadic perception is affected by saccade landing point deviations after saccadic adaptation.
ABSTRACT: Whenever we move our eyes, some visual information obtained before a saccade is combined with the visual information obtained after a saccade. Interestingly, saccades rarely land exactly on the saccade target, which may pose a problem for transsaccadic perception as it could affect the quality of postsaccadic input. Recently, however, we showed that transsaccadic feature integration is actually unaffected by deviations of saccade landing points. Possibly, transsaccadic integration remains unaffected because the presaccadic shift of attention follows the intended saccade target and not the actual saccade landing point during regular saccades. Here, we investigated whether saccade landing point errors can in fact alter transsaccadic perception when the presaccadic shift of attention follows the saccade landing point deviation. Given that saccadic adaptation not only changes the saccade vector, but also the presaccadic shift of attention, we combined a feature report paradigm with saccadic adaptation. Observers reported the color of the saccade target, which occasionally changed slightly during a saccade to the target. This task was performed before and after saccadic adaptation. The results showed that, after adaptation, presaccadic color information became less precise and transsaccadic perception had a stronger reliance on the postsaccadic color estimate. Therefore, although previous studies have shown that transsaccadic perception is generally unaffected by saccade landing point deviations, our results reveal that this cannot be considered a general property of the visual system. When presaccadic shifts of attention follow altered saccade landing points, transsaccadic perception is affected, suggesting that transsaccadic feature perception might be dependent on visual spatial attention.
Project description:Across saccades, humans can integrate the low-resolution presaccadic information of an upcoming saccade target with the high-resolution postsaccadic information. There is converging evidence to suggest that transsaccadic integration occurs at the saccade target. However, given divergent evidence on the spatial specificity of related mechanisms such as attention, visual working memory, and remapping, it is unclear whether integration is also possible at locations other than the saccade target. We tested the spatial profile of transsaccadic integration, by testing perceptual performance at six locations around the saccade target and between the saccade target and initial fixation. Results show that integration benefits do not differ between the saccade target and surrounding locations. Transsaccadic integration benefits are not specific to the saccade target and can occur at other locations when they are behaviorally relevant, although there is a trend for worse performance for the location above initial fixation compared with those in the direction of the saccade. This suggests that transsaccadic integration may be a more general mechanism used to reconcile task-relevant pre- and postsaccadic information at attended locations other than the saccade target.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study shows that integration of pre- and postsaccadic information across saccades is not restricted to the saccade target. We found performance benefits of transsaccadic integration at attended locations other than the saccade target, and these benefits did not differ from those found at the saccade target. This suggests that transsaccadic integration may be a more general mechanism used to reconcile pre- and postsaccadic information at task-relevant locations.
Project description:As the neural representation of visual information is initially coded in retinotopic coordinates, eye movements (saccades) pose a major problem for visual stability. If no visual information were maintained across saccades, retinotopic representations would have to be rebuilt after each saccade. It is currently strongly debated what kind of information (if any at all) is accumulated across saccades, and when this information becomes available after a saccade. Here, we use a motion illusion to examine the accumulation of visual information across saccades. In this illusion, an annulus with a random texture slowly rotates, and is then replaced with a second texture (motion transient). With increasing rotation durations, observers consistently perceive the transient as large rotational jumps in the direction opposite to rotation direction (backward jumps). We first show that accumulated motion information is updated spatiotopically across saccades. Then, we show that this accumulated information is readily available after a saccade, immediately biasing postsaccadic perception. The current findings suggest that presaccadic information is used to facilitate postsaccadic perception and are in support of a forward model of transsaccadic perception, aiming at anticipating the consequences of eye movements and operating within the narrow perisaccadic time window.
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:Human observers make large rapid eye movements-saccades-to bring behaviorally relevant information into the fovea, where spatial resolution is high. In some visual tasks [1-4], performance at the location of a saccade target improves before the eyes move. Although these findings provide evidence that extra-retinal signals evoked by saccades can enhance visual perception, it remains unknown whether and how presaccadic modulations change the processing of feature information and thus modulate visual representations. To answer this question, one must go beyond the use of methods that only probe performance accuracy (d') in different tasks. Here, using a psychophysical reverse correlation approach [5-8], we investigated how saccade preparation influences the processing of orientation and spatial frequency-two building blocks of early vision. We found that saccade preparation selectively enhanced the gain of high spatial frequency information and narrowed orientation tuning at the upcoming saccade landing position. These modulations were time locked to saccade onset, peaking right before the eyes moved (-50-0 ms). Moreover, merely deploying covert attention within the same temporal interval without preparing a saccade did not alter performance. The observed presaccadic tuning changes may correspond to the presaccadic enhancement [9-11] and receptive field shifts reported in neurophysiological studies [12-14]. Saccade preparation may support transaccadic integration by reshaping the representation of the saccade target to be more fovea-like just before the eyes move. The presaccadic modulations on spatial frequency and orientation processing illustrate a strong perception-action coupling by revealing that the visual system dynamically reshapes feature selectivity contingent upon eye movements.
Project description:Humans are able to integrate pre- and postsaccadic percepts of an object across saccades to maintain perceptual stability. Previous studies have used Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) to determine that integration occurs in a near-optimal manner. Here, we compared three different models to investigate the mechanism of integration in more detail: an early noise model, where noise is added to the pre- and postsaccadic signals before integration occurs; a late-noise model, where noise is added to the integrated signal after integration occurs; and a temporal summation model, where integration benefits arise from the longer transsaccadic presentation duration compared to pre- and postsaccadic presentation only. We also measured spatiotemporal aspects of integration to determine whether integration can occur for very brief stimulus durations, across two hemifields, and in spatiotopic and retinotopic coordinates. Pre-, post-, and transsaccadic performance was measured at different stimulus presentation durations, both at the saccade target and a location where the pre- and postsaccadic stimuli were presented in different hemifields across the saccade. Results showed that for both within- and between-hemifields conditions, integration could occur when pre- and postsaccadic stimuli were presented only briefly, and that the pattern of integration followed an early noise model. Whereas integration occurred when the pre- and post-saccadic stimuli were presented in the same spatiotopic coordinates, there was no integration when they were presented in the same retinotopic coordinates. This contrast suggests that transsaccadic integration is limited by early, independent, sensory noise acting separately on pre- and postsaccadic signals.
Project description:Humans do not notice small displacements to objects that occur during saccades, termed saccadic suppression of displacement (SSD), and this effect is reduced when a blank is introduced between the pre- and postsaccadic stimulus (Bridgeman, Hendry, & Stark, 1975; Deubel, Schneider, & Bridgeman, 1996). While these effects have been studied extensively in adults, it is unclear how these phenomena are characterized in children. A potentially related mechanism, saccadic suppression of contrast sensitivity-a prerequisite to achieve a stable percept-is stronger for children (Bruno, Brambati, Perani, & Morrone, 2006). However, the evidence for how transsaccadic stimulus displacements may be suppressed or integrated is mixed. While they can integrate basic visual feature information from an early age, they cannot integrate multisensory information (Gori, Viva, Sandini, & Burr, 2008; Nardini, Jones, Bedford, & Braddick, 2008), suggesting a failure in the ability to integrate more complex sensory information. We tested children 7 to 12 years old and adults 19 to 23 years old on their ability to perceive intrasaccadic stimulus displacements, with and without a postsaccadic blank. Results showed that children had stronger SSD than adults and a larger blanking effect. Children also had larger undershoots and more variability in their initial saccade endpoints, indicating greater intrinsic uncertainty, and they were faster in executing corrective saccades to account for these errors. Together, these results suggest that children may have a greater internal expectation or prediction of saccade error than adults; thus, the stronger SSD in children may be due to higher intrinsic uncertainty in target localization or saccade execution.
Project description:The binocular coordination of eye movements in a three-dimensional environment involves a combination of saccade and vergence movements. To maintain binocular accuracy and control in the face of sensory and motor changes (that occur with e.g., normal aging, surgery, corrective lenses), the oculomotor system must adapt in response to manifest visual errors. This may be achieved through a combination of binocular and monocular mechanisms, including the recalibration of saccade and vergence amplitudes in response to different visual errors induced in each eye (Maiello, Harrison, & Bex, 2016). This work has used a double-step paradigm to recalibrate eye movements in response to visual errors produced by dichoptic target steps (e.g., leftward in the left eye and rightward in the right eye). Here, we evaluated the immediate perceptual effects of this adaptation. Experiment 1 measured localization errors following adaptation by comparing the apparent locations of pre- and postsaccadic probes. Consistent with previous work showing localization errors following saccadic adaptation, our results demonstrated that adaptation to a dichoptic step produces different localization errors in the two eyes. Furthermore, in Experiment 2, this effect was reduced for a vergence shift in the absence of a saccade, indicating that saccade programming is responsible for a large component of this illusory shift. Experiment 3 measured postsaccadic stereopsis thresholds and indicated that, unlike localization judgments, adaptation did not influence stereoacuity. Together, these results demonstrate novel dichoptic visual errors following oculomotor adaptation and point to monocular and binocular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of binocular coordination.
Project description:Smooth-pursuit eye velocity to a moving target is more accurate after an initial catch-up saccade than before, an enhancement that is poorly understood. We present an individual-differences-based method for identifying mechanisms underlying a physiological response and use it to test whether visual motion signals driving pursuit differ pre- and postsaccade. Correlating moment-to-moment measurements of pursuit over time with two psychophysical measures of speed estimation during fixation, we find two independent associations across individuals. Presaccadic pursuit acceleration is predicted by the precision of low-level (motion-energy-based) speed estimation, and postsaccadic pursuit precision is predicted by the precision of high-level (position-tracking) speed estimation. These results provide evidence that a low-level motion signal influences presaccadic acceleration and an independent high-level motion signal influences postsaccadic precision, thus presenting a plausible mechanism for postsaccadic enhancement of pursuit.
Project description:Perception of a stable visual world despite eye motion requires integration of visual information across saccadic eye movements. To investigate how the visual system deals with localization of moving visual stimuli across saccades, we observed spatiotemporal changes of receptive fields (RFs) of motion-sensitive neurons across periods of saccades in the middle temporal (MT) and medial superior temporal (MST) areas. We found that the location of the RFs moved with shifts of eye position due to saccades, indicating that motion-sensitive neurons in both areas have retinotopic RFs across saccades. Different characteristic responses emerged when the moving visual stimulus was turned off before the saccades. For MT neurons, virtually no response was observed after the saccade, suggesting that the responses of these neurons simply reflect the reafferent visual information. In contrast, most MST neurons increased their firing rates when a saccade brought the location of the visual stimulus into their RFs, where the visual stimulus itself no longer existed. These findings suggest that the responses of such MST neurons after saccades were evoked by a memory of the stimulus that had preexisted in the postsaccadic RFs ("memory remapping"). A delayed-saccade paradigm further revealed that memory remapping in MST was linked to the saccade itself, rather than to a shift in attention. Thus, the visual motion information across saccades was integrated in spatiotopic coordinates and represented in the activity of MST neurons. This is likely to contribute to the perception of a stable visual world in the presence of eye movements.
Project description:The premotor theory of attention postulates that spatial attention arises from the activation of saccade areas and that the deployment of attention is the consequence of motor programming. Yet attentional and oculomotor processes have been shown to be dissociable at the neuronal level in covert attention tasks. To investigate a potential dissociation at the behavioral level, we instructed human participants to move their eyes (saccade) towards 1 of 2 nearby, competing saccade targets. The spatial distribution of visual attention was determined using oriented visual stimuli presented either at the target locations, between them, or at several other equidistant locations. Results demonstrate that accurate saccades towards one of the targets were associated with presaccadic enhancement of visual sensitivity at the respective saccade endpoint compared to the nonsaccaded target location. In contrast, averaging saccades, landing between the 2 targets, were not associated with attentional facilitation at the saccade endpoint. Rather, attention before averaging saccades was equally deployed at the 2 target locations. Taken together, our results reveal that visual attention is not obligatorily coupled to the endpoint of a subsequent saccade. Rather, our results suggest that the oculomotor program depends on the state of attentional selection before saccade onset and that saccade averaging arises from unresolved attentional selection.