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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.

Spatial IOR as a function of fixation history, task and spatial references

Partial paradigm

In oculomotor selection, each saccade is thought to be automatically biased towards uninspected locations, inhibiting the inefficient behavior of repeatedly re-fixating the same objects. This automatic bias is related to inhibition of return (IOR). Although IOR seems an appealing property that increases efficiency in visual search, such a mechanism would not be efficient in other tasks. Indeed, evidence for additional, more flexible control over re-fixations has been provided.

Oculomotor interference of bimodal distractors

HeemanEtAl2016_Fig1_Clipped

Audiovisual distractors interfere with the correct programming of a saccade to a target. In this new study, we show that bimodal distractors evoke stronger oculomotor competition compared to unimodal distractors. We developed an elegant setup in which visual and auditory stimuli could be presented in spatial and temporal alignment to explore the influence of visual, auditory and audiovisual distractors on eye movements.

The pupillary light response reflects encoding, but not maintenance, in visual working memory

The pupillary light response has been shown not to be a purely reflexive mechanism, but to be sensitive to higher order perceptual processes, such as covert visual attention. In a new study we examined whether the pupillary light response is modulated by stimuli which are not physically present, but maintained in visual working memory.

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