Investigating the parameters of transsaccadic memory: Inhibition of return impedes information acquisition near a saccade target.

A limited amount of visual information is retained between saccades. This information is stored into a limited memory system (transsaccadic memory). Since the capacity of transsaccadic memory is limited, selection of information is crucial. Selection of relevant information is modulated by attentional processes such as the presaccadic shift of attention and inhibition of return. This involuntary shift of attention occurs prior to execution of the saccade and leads to information acquisition at an intended saccade target. Inhibition of return is the phenomenon where participants are slower to respond to a cue at a previously attended location. Results indicate that information at a location near a saccade landing point is less likely to be integrated into transsaccadic memory when this location was previously associated with inhibition of return. Furthermore, we found evidence which implicates a reduction of the overall amount of elements retained in transsaccadic memory when a location near a saccade target is associated with inhibition of return. These results are interpreted in light of the presaccadic shift of attention being modulated by inhibition of return and thereby reducing information storage into transsaccadic memory.  

 

Schut, M.J., Fabius, J.H. & Van der Stigchel, S. (in press). Investigating the parameters of transsaccadic memory: Inhibition of return impedes information acquisition near a saccade target. Visual Cognition