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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2014, Article ID 850606, 10 pages
Research Article

The Influence of Attention and Target Identification on Saccadic Eye Movements Depends on Prior Target Location

Behavioural Basis of Health, Griffith Health Institute, and School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, QLD 4122, Australia

Received 11 October 2013; Revised 17 December 2013; Accepted 6 January 2014; Published 27 February 2014

Academic Editor: Arvid Herwig

Copyright © 2014 David R. Hardwick et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Saccadic latency is reduced by a temporal gap between fixation point and target, by identification of a target feature, and by movement in a new direction (inhibition of saccadic return, ISR). A simple additive model was compared with a shared resources model that predicts a three-way interaction. Twenty naïve participants made horizontal saccades to targets left and right of fixation in a randomised block design. There was a significant three-way interaction among the factors on saccade latency. This was revealed in a two-way interaction between feature identification and the gap versus no gap factor which was only apparent when the saccade was in the same direction as the previous saccade. No interaction was apparent when the saccade was in the opposite direction. This result supports an attentional inhibitory effect that is present during ISR to a previous location which is only partly released by the facilitative effect of feature identification and gap. Together, anticipatory error data and saccade latency interactions suggest a source of ISR at a higher level of attention, possibly localised in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and involving tonic activation.