A global effect of capture saccades

S. van der Stigchel, J.P. Vries, R. Bethlehem, J. Theeuwes

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When two target elements are presented in close proximity, the endpoint of a saccade is generally positioned at an intermediate location ('global effect'). Here, we investigated whether the global effect also occurs for eye movements executed to distracting elements. To this end, we adapted the oculomotor capture paradigm such that on a subset of trials, two distractors were presented. When the two distractors were closely aligned, erroneous eye movements were initiated to a location in between the two distractors. Even though to a lesser extent, this effect was also present when the two distractors were presented further apart. In a second experiment, we investigated the global effect for eye movements in the presence of two targets. A strong global effect was observed when two targets were presented closely aligned, while this effect was absent when the targets were further apart. This study shows that there is a global effect when saccades are captured by distractors. This 'capture global' effect is different from the traditional global effect that occurs when two targets are presented because the global effect of capture saccades also occurs for remote elements. The spatial dynamics of this global effect will be explained in terms of the population coding theory. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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