Different computations underlie overt presaccadic and covert spatial attention

Hsin Hung Li, Jasmine Pan, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perception and action are tightly coupled: visual responses at the saccade target are enhanced right before saccade onset. This phenomenon, presaccadic attention, is a form of overt attention—deployment of visual attention with concurrent eye movements. Presaccadic attention is well-documented, but its underlying computational process remains unknown. This is in stark contrast to covert attention—deployment of visual attention without concurrent eye movements—for which the computational processes are well characterized by a normalization model. Here, a series of psychophysical experiments reveal that presaccadic attention modulates visual performance only via response gain changes. A response gain change was observed even when attention field size increased, violating the predictions of a normalization model of attention. Our empirical results and model comparisons reveal that the perceptual modulations by overt presaccadic and covert spatial attention are mediated through different computations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1431
Number of pages14
JournalNature human behaviour
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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