Feature-based attention across saccades: Pop-out in color search is spatiotopic
Our perception of the world remains stable despite the retinal shifts that occur with each saccade. The role of spatial attention in matching pre- to postsaccadic visual information has been well established, but the role of feature-based attention remains unclear. In this study, we examined the transsaccadic processing of a color pop-out target. Participants made a saccade towards a neutral target and performed a search task on a peripheral array presented once the saccade landed. A similar array was presented just before the saccade and we analyzed what aspect of this preview benefitted the postsaccadic search task. We assessed the preview effect in the spatiotopic and retinotopic reference frames, and the potential transfer of feature selectivity across the saccade. In the first experiment, the target and distractor colors remained identical for the preview and the postsaccadic array and performance improved. The largest benefit was observed at the spatiotopic location. In the second experiment, the target and distractor colors were swapped across the saccade. All responses were slowed but the cost was least at the spatiotopic location. Our results show that the preview attracted spatial attention to the target location, which was then remapped, and suggest that previewed features, specifically colors, were transferred across the saccade. Furthermore, the preview induced a spatiotopic advantage regardless of whether the target switched color or not, suggesting that spatiotopy was established independently of feature processing. Our results support independent priming effects of features versus location and underline the role of feature-based selection in visual stability.
KeywordsAttention Eye movements Feature-based attention Pop-out Spatiotopic
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement n° AG324070 to P. C. and from the Dartmouth College Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences to P.C. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
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