The Role of Stimulus-Driven and Goal-Driven Control in Saccadic Visual Selection

L.J.F.M. van Zoest, M. Donk, J. Theeuwes

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Four experiments were conducted to investigate the role of stimulus-driven and goal-driven control in saccadic eye movements. Participants were required to make a speeded saccade toward a predefined target presented concurrently with multiple nontargets and possibly 1 distractor. Target and distractor were either equally salient (Experiments 1 and 2) or not (Experiments 3 and 4). The results uniformly demonstrated that fast eye movements were completely stimulus driven, whereas slower eye movements were goal driven. These results are in line with neither a bottom-up account nor a top-down notion of visual selection. Instead, they indicate that visual selection is the outcome of 2 independent processes, one stimulus driven and the other goal driven, operating in different time windows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-759
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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