Michele Fornaciai, Paola Binda, Guido Marco Cicchini

Trans-saccadic integration of orientation information

J Vis, 4 (18), 9.

https://doi.org/10.1167/18.4.9 Download

Does visual processing start anew after each eye movement, or is information integrated across saccades? Here we test a strong prediction of the integration hypothesis: that information acquired after a saccade interferes with the perception of images acquired before the saccade. We investigate perception of a basic visual feature, grating orientation, and we take advantage of a delayed interference phenomenon-in human participants, the reported orientation of a target grating, briefly presented at an eccentric location, is strongly biased toward the orientation of flanker gratings that are flashed shortly after the target. Crucially, we find that the effect is the same whether or not a saccade is made during the delay interval even though the eye movement produces a large retinotopic separation between target and flankers. However, the trans-saccadic effect nearly vanishes when flankers are displaced to a different screen location even when this location matches the retinotopic coordinates of the target. We conclude that information about grating orientation is integrated across saccades within a spatial region that is defined in external coordinates and thereby is stable in spite of the movement of the eyes.