Fitts's Law and speed/accuracy trade-offs during sequences of saccades: Implications for strategies of saccadic planning

Chia Chien Wu, Oh Sang Kwon, Eileen Kowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Strategies of saccadic planning must take into account both the required level of accuracy of the saccades, and the time and resources needed to plan and execute the movements. To determine relationships between accuracy and time, we studied sequences of saccades made to scan a set of stationary targets located at the corners of an imaginary square. Target separation and size varied. The time taken to complete saccadic sequences increased with the required level of precision, in agreement with the classical Fitts's Law (1954) relationship. This was mainly due to the use of error-correcting secondary saccades, whose frequency increased with target separation and decreased with target size. Increases in the time spent fixating near each target did not increase the accuracy of the next primary saccade in the sequence. Instead, secondary saccades were the principal means of correcting landing errors of primary saccades. The results are consistent with a scanning strategy that discourages careful planning of individual saccades in favor of increasing the rate of saccadic production (i.e., exploration), using secondary saccades as needed to correct saccadic landing errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2142-2157
Number of pages16
JournalVision Research
Volume50
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Keywords

  • Eye movements
  • Fitts's Law
  • Latency-accuracy trade-off
  • Saccades
  • Saccadic latency
  • Saccadic planning
  • Saccadic sequences
  • Speed-accuracy trade-off

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