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Psychophysical dual‐task setups do not measure pre‐saccadic attention but saccade‐related strengthening of sensory representations

Authors: Christoph Huber-Huber; Julia Steininger; Markus Grüner; Ulrich Ansorge;

Psychophysical dual‐task setups do not measure pre‐saccadic attention but saccade‐related strengthening of sensory representations

Abstract

Abstract Visual attention and saccadic eye movements are linked in a tight, yet flexible fashion. In humans, this link is typically studied with dual‐task setups. Participants are instructed to execute a saccade to some target location, while a discrimination target is flashed on a screen before the saccade can be made. Participants are also instructed to report a specific feature of this discrimination target at the trial end. Discrimination performance is usually better if the discrimination target occurred at the same location as the saccade target compared to when it occurred at a different location, which is explained by the mandatory shift of attention to the saccade target location before saccade onset. This pre‐saccadic shift of attention presumably enhances the perception of the discrimination target if it occurred at the same, but not if it occurred at a different location. It is, however, known that a dual‐task setup can alter the primary process under investigation. Here, we directly compared pre‐saccadic attention in single‐task versus dual‐task setups using concurrent electroencephalography (EEG) and eye‐tracking. Our results corroborate the idea of a pre‐saccadic shift of attention. They, however, question that this shift leads to the same‐position discrimination advantage. The relation of saccade and discrimination target position affected the EEG signal only after saccade onset. Our results, thus, favor an alternative explanation based on the role of saccades for the consolidation of sensory and short‐term memory. We conclude that studies with dual‐task setups arrived at a valid conclusion despite not measuring exactly what they intended to measure.

In humans, the relation between visual attention and saccadic eye movements is usually studied with psychophysical dual‐task setups. Here, we employ concurrent EEG and eye‐tracking to directly compare dual‐task to single‐task setups and conclude in line with previous research that attention precedes saccades. However, our results suggest that dual‐task setups do not measure what they are supposed to measure, that is, the pre‐saccadic shift of attention.

Country
Netherlands
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: media_common.quotation_subject Sensory system Electroencephalography Task (project management) Perception medicine media_common medicine.diagnostic_test Eye movement Saccadic masking Feature (computer vision) Saccade Psychology Cognitive psychology

Keywords

Adult, Male, Cognitive Neuroscience, Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Young Adult, Developmental Neuroscience, Saccades, Humans, Attention, Eye-Tracking Technology, Biological Psychiatry, Endocrine and Autonomic Systems, General Neuroscience, Electroencephalography, 180 000 Predictive Brain, Original Articles, Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology, Neurology, Visual Perception, Original Article, Female, Psychomotor Performance

  • BIP!
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    citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    4
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    4
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
4
Top 10%
Average
Average
Green
hybrid
Funded by
EC| C-Pre
Project
C-Pre
Seeing is predicting: Testing a predictive coding account of visual perception involving saccadic eye movements
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 846392
  • Funding stream: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST
Validated by funder
Related to Research communities
Neuroinformatics
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