Eye movements produce shifts in the positions of objects in the retinal image, but observers are able to integrate these shifting retinal images into a coherent representation of visual space. This ability is thought to be mediated by attention-dependent saccade-related neural activity that is used by the visual system to anticipate the retinal consequences of impending eye movements. Previous investigations of the perceptual consequences of this predictive activity typically infer attentional allocation using indirect measures such as accuracy or reaction time. Here, we investigated the perceptual consequences of saccades using an objective measure of attentional allocation, reverse correlation. Human observers executed a saccade while monitoring a flickering target object flanked by flickering distractors and reported whether the average luminance of the target was lighter or darker than the background. Successful task performance required subjects to integrate visual information across the saccade. A reverse correlation analysis yielded a spatiotemporal “psychophysical kernel” characterizing how different parts of the stimulus contributed to the luminance decision throughout each trial. Just before the saccade, observers integrated luminance information from a distractor located at the post-saccadic retinal position of the target, indicating a predictive perceptual updating of the target. Observers did not integrate information from distractors placed in alternative locations, even when they were nearer to the target object. We also observed simultaneous predictive perceptual updating for two spatially distinct targets. These findings suggest both that shifting neural representations mediate the coherent representation of visual space, and that these shifts have significant consequences for transsaccadic perception.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- predictive remapping
- reverse correlation
- transsaccadic perception