A retinotopic attentional trace after saccadic eye movements: Evidence from event-related potentials

D. Talsma, B.J. White, S. Mathot, D.P. Munoz, J. Theeuwes

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Saccadic eye movements are a major source of disruption to visual stability, yet we experience little of this disruption. We can keep track of the same object across multiple saccades. It is generally assumed that visual stability is due to the process of remapping, in which retinotopically organized maps are updated to compensate for the retinal shifts caused by eye movements. Recent behavioral and ERP evidence suggests that visual attention is also remapped, but that it may still leave a residual retinotopic trace immediately after a saccade. The current study was designed to further examine electrophysiological evidence for such a retinotopic trace by recording ERPs elicited by stimuli that were presented immediately after a saccade (80 msec SOA). Participants were required to maintain attention at a specific location (and to memorize this location) while making a saccadic eye movement. Immediately after the saccade, a visual stimulus was briefly presented at either the attended location (the same spatiotopic location), a location that matched the attended location retinotopically (the same retinotopic location), or one of two control locations. ERP data revealed an enhanced P1 amplitude for the stimulus presented at the retinotopically matched location, but a significant attenuation for probes presented at the original attended location. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that visuospatial attention lingers in retinotopic coordinates immediately following gaze shifts. © 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1563-1577
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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