Saccade target selection: Do distractors affect saccade accuracy?

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Abstract

A study is reported in which eye movements were recorded when observers attempted to make a saccade to a target in the presence of a nearby and visually identical distractor. It was found that saccade targeting accuracy was completely unaffected by the presence of the distractor, except in the cases where the distractor was on the same axis as that of the saccadic movement. In this condition, some saccades landed between target and distractor, thus showing the global effect finding, known to occur when saccades are made to stimuli with sudden onset. The result demonstrates that a perceptual selection process, operating with higher resolution than that often associated with covert visual attention, can be used in the selection of saccadic targets.

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