Distractor displacements during saccades are reflected in the time-course of saccade curvature

Jonathan Van Leeuwen*, Artem V. Belopolsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Every time we make a saccade we form a prediction about where objects are going to be when the eye lands. This is crucial since the oculomotor system is retinotopically organized and every saccade drastically changes the projection of objects on the retina. We investigated how quickly the oculomotor system accommodates new spatial information when a distractor is displaced during a saccade. Participants performed sequences of horizontal and vertical saccades and oculomotor competition was induced by presenting a task-irrelevant distractor before the first saccade. On half of the trials the distractor remained in the same location after the first saccade and on the other half the distractor moved during the first saccade. Curvature of the second saccade was used to track target-distractor competition. At short intersaccadic intervals, saccades curved away from the original distractor location, confirming that in the oculomotor system spatiotopic representations emerge rapidly and automatically. Approximately 190 ms after the first saccade, second saccades curved away from the new distractor location. These results show that after a saccade the oculomotor system is initially driven by the spatial prediction made before the saccade, but it is able to quickly update these spatial predictions based on new visual information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2469
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2018


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