Disrupting saccadic updating: visual interference prior to the first saccade elicits spatial errors in the secondary saccade in a double-step task

Antimo Buonocore, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When we explore the visual environment around us, we produce sequences of very precise eye movements aligning the objects of interest with the most sensitive part of the retina for detailed visual processing. A copy of the impending motor command, the corollary discharge, is sent as soon as the first saccade in a sequence is ready to monitor the next fixation location and correctly plan the subsequent eye movement. Neurophysiological investigations have shown that chemical interference with the corollary discharge generates a distinct pattern of spatial errors on sequential eye movements, with similar results also from clinical and TMS studies. Here, we used saccadic inhibition to interfere with the temporal domain of the first of two subsequent saccades during a standard double-step paradigm. In two experiments, we report that the temporal interference on the primary saccade led to a specific error in the final landing position of the second saccade that was consistent with previous lesion and neurophysiological studies, but without affecting the spatial characteristics of the first eye movement. On the other hand, single-step saccades were differently influence by the flash, with a general undershoot, more pronounced for larger saccadic amplitude. These findings show that a flashed visual transient can disrupt saccadic updating in a double-step task, possibly due to the mismatch between the planned and the executed saccadic eye movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1893-1905
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume233
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 26 2015

Keywords

  • Corollary discharge
  • Double-step saccade
  • Eye movements
  • Saccadic inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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