Using temporally aligned event-related potentials for the investigation of attention shifts prior to and during saccades

Autor(en): Huber-Huber, Christoph
Ditye, Thomas 
Fernandez, Maria Marchante
Ansorge, Ulrich 
Stichwörter: ARTIFACTS; Attention; Behavioral Sciences; COMPONENT; EEG; ERP; EYE-MOVEMENTS; Eye-tracking; MECHANISMS; Neurosciences; Neurosciences & Neurology; PARALLEL; Psychology; Psychology, Experimental; Saccade latency; SELECTION; TARGET; TASK SET; Visual search; VISUAL-ATTENTION
Erscheinungsdatum: 2016
Volumen: 92
Ausgabe: SI
Startseite: 129
Seitenende: 141
According to the pre-motor theory of attention, attention is shifted to a saccade's landing position before the saccade is executed. Such pre-saccadic attention shifts are usually studied in psychophysical dual task conditions, with a target-discrimination task before saccade onset. Here, we present a novel approach to investigate pre-saccadic attention shifts with the help of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants executed one or two saccades to color-defined targets while ERPs and eye-movements were recorded. In single-target blocks participants executed a single saccade. In two-targets blocks participants made either a single saccade to one of the targets, or two successive saccades to both targets. Importantly, in two-targets blocks, targets could appear on the same or on opposite sides of the vertical midline. This allowed us to study contra-to-ipsilateral ERP differences (such as the N2pc or PCN) that reflect attention shifts to the targets, prior to saccade onset and during saccades. If pre-saccadic attention shifts to saccade target locations are necessary for saccade execution and if searched-for saccade targets capture attention, there should be enhanced attentional competition (1) between two targets compared to single targets; (2) between two opposite-sides targets compared to two same-side targets; and (3) in two saccades rather than one saccade conditions: More attentional competition was expected to delay saccade latency and to weaken pre-saccadic laterality effects in ERPs. Hypotheses were tested by means of temporally aligned ERPs that were simultaneously time-locked to stimulus onsets, saccade onsets, and saccade offsets. Predictions (1) and (2) were partly and fully confirmed, respectively, but no evidence was found for (3). We explain the implications of our results for the role of attention during saccade preparation, and we point out how temporally aligned ERPs compare to ICA-based electroencephalogram (EEG) artifact correction procedures and to psychophysical dual-task approaches. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 00283932
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.03.035

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