Document Detail

Less attention is more in the preparation of antisaccades, but not prosaccades.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11547337     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
To make a saccadic eye movement to a target we must first attend to it. It is therefore not surprising that diverting attention increases saccade latency, but is latency increased in all cases? We show that attending to a peripheral discrimination task has a paradoxical effect. If the stimulus to be attended appears shortly (100 to 300 ms) before an eye movement is made in a direction opposite to that of a presented stimulus (an antisaccade), its latency is reduced to well below baseline performance. In contrast, latencies for saccades toward the stimulus (prosaccades) are increased under similar conditions. This paradoxical effect may arise from competition between the processes mediating prosaccades and antisaccades. When the discrimination task is presented at the critical moment, it interferes with a reflexive prosaccade, allowing faster antisaccades. The results suggest that the suppression of sensorimotor reflexes can facilitate volitional motor acts.
A Kristjánsson; Y Chen; K Nakayama
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature neuroscience     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1097-6256     ISO Abbreviation:  Nat. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2001 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-09-27     Completed Date:  2001-10-25     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9809671     Medline TA:  Nat Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1037-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Vision Sciences Laboratory, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology*
Form Perception
Photic Stimulation
Saccades / physiology*
Time Factors

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