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Memory-guided saccades show effect of a perceptual illusion whereas visually guided saccades do not

Massendari, D., Lisi, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-3554-385X, Collins, T. & Cavanagh, P. (2018). Memory-guided saccades show effect of a perceptual illusion whereas visually guided saccades do not. Journal of Neurophysiology, 119(1), doi: 10.1152/jn.00229.2017


The double-drift stimulus (a drifting Gabor with orthogonal internal motion) generates a large discrepancy between its physical and perceived path. Surprisingly, saccades directed to the double-drift stimulus land along the physical, and not perceived, path (Lisi M, Cavanagh P. Curr Biol 25: 2535−2540, 2015). We asked whether memory-guided saccades exhibited the same dissociation from perception. Participants were asked to keep their gaze centered on a fixation dot while the double-drift stimulus moved back and forth on a linear path in the periphery. The offset of the fixation was the go signal to make a saccade to the target. In the visually guided saccade condition, the Gabor kept moving on its trajectory after the go signal but was removed once the saccade began. In the memory conditions, the Gabor disappeared before or at the same time as the go-signal (0- to 1,000-ms delay) and participants made a saccade to its remembered location. The results showed that visually guided saccades again targeted the physical rather than the perceived location. However, memory saccades, even with 0-ms delay, had landing positions shifted toward the perceived location. Our result shows that memory- and visually guided saccades are based on different spatial information.

NEW & NOTEWORTHY We compared the effect of a perceptual illusion on two types of saccades, visually guided vs. memory-guided saccades, and found that whereas visually guided saccades were almost unaffected by the perceptual illusion, memory-guided saccades exhibited a strong effect of the illusion. Our result is the first evidence in the literature to show that visually and memory-guided saccades use different spatial representations.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Memory-guided saccades, Visually-guided saccades, Double-drift illusion, Action-perception dissociation
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
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