With every eye movement, visual input projected onto our retina changes drastically. The fundamental question of how we keep track of relevant objects and movement targets has puzzled scientists for more than a century. Recent advances suggested that this can be accomplished through the process of predictive remapping of visual attention to the future post-saccadic locations of relevant objects. Evidence for the existence of predictive remapping of attention was first provided by Rolfs et al. (2011) (Nature Neuroscience, 14, 252-256). However, they used a single distant control location away from the task-relevant locations, which could have biased the allocation of visual attention. In this study we used a similar experimental paradigm as Rolfs et al. (2011), but probed attention equally likely at all possible locations. Our results showed that discrimination performance was higher at the remapped location than at a distant control location, but not compared to the other two control locations. A re-analysis of the results obtained by Rolfs et al. (2011) revealed a similar pattern. Together, these findings suggest that it is likely that previous reports of the predictive remapping of attention were due to a diffuse spread of attention to the task-relevant locations rather than to a specific shift toward the target's future retinotopic location.
- Replication study