Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 5, pp 1195–1203 | Cite as

Response suppression produces a switch-cost for spatially compatible saccades

  • Benjamin Tari
  • Mohammed A. Fadel
  • Matthew HeathEmail author
Research Article


Executive function supports the rapid alternation between tasks for online reconfiguration of attentional and motor goals. The oculomotor literature has found that a prosaccade (i.e., saccade to veridical target location) preceded by an antisaccade (i.e., saccade mirror symmetrical to a target) elicits an increase in reaction time (RT), whereas the converse switch does not. This switch-cost has been attributed to the antisaccade task’s requirement of inhibiting a prosaccade (i.e., response suppression) and transforming a target’s coordinate (i.e., vector inversion)—executive processes thought to contribute to a task-set inertia that proactively interferes with the planning of a subsequent prosaccade. It is, however, unclear whether response suppression and vector inversion contribute to a task-set inertia or whether the phenomenon relates to a unitary component (e.g., response suppression). Here, the same stimulus-driven (SD) prosaccades (i.e., respond at target onset) as used in previous work were used with minimally delayed (MD) prosaccades (i.e., respond at target offset) and arranged in an AABB paradigm (i.e., A = SD prosaccade, B = MD prosaccade). MD prosaccades provide the same response suppression as antisaccades without the need for vector inversion. RTs for SD task-switch trials were longer and more variable than their task-repeat counterparts, whereas values for MD task-switch and task-repeat trials did not reliably differ. Moreover, SD task-repeat and task-switch movement times and amplitudes did not vary and thus demonstrate that a switch-cost is unrelated to a speed accuracy trade-off. Accordingly, results suggest the executive demands of response suppression is sufficient to engender the persistent activation of a non-standard task-set that selectively delays the planning of a subsequent SD prosaccade.


Executive function Movement Oculomotor Task switching Vision 



This work was supported by a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, and Faculty Scholar and Major Academic Development Fund Awards from the University of Western Ontario. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

221_2019_5497_MOESM1_ESM.tiff (256 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 255 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of KinesiologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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