Oculomotor activity and visual spatial attention

Behav Brain Res. 1995 Nov;71(1-2):81-8. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(95)00134-4.


Subjects made a horizontal or vertical saccade in response to a non-lateralized auditory stimulus. Simple manual reaction time (RT) for the detection of light targets at extrafoveal locations was modulated by the intention to make the saccade insofar as RT to targets presented at the saccadic goal location or in the hemifield containing that location was faster than RT to targets presented at the opposite, mirror-symmetric location. This RT difference was maximal prior to the beginning of the saccade and vanished after saccade termination, indicating that the effect was caused by the neural activity leading to the saccade rather than to the eye movement or the eye position per se. The results have implications for the understanding of the relations between visual spatial attention and oculomotor control, especially with regard to inhibitory phenomena arising from the non-correspondence between the line of sight and the focus of attention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Saccades / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*