No direction specific costs in trans-saccadic memory

A F Ten Brink, T C W Nijboer, J H Fabius, S Van der Stigchel

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Even though we frequently execute saccades, we perceive the external world as coherent and stable. An important mechanism of trans-saccadic perception is spatial remapping: the process of updating information across eye movements. Previous studies have indicated a right hemispheric dominance for spatial remapping, which has been proposed to translate into enhanced trans-saccadic memory for locations that are remapped into the right compared to the left hemisphere in healthy participants. Previous study designs suffered from several limitations, however (i.e. multiple eye movements had to be made instead of one, fixations were not controlled for, and ceiling effects were likely present). We therefore compared accuracy of trans-saccadic memory for central items after left- versus rightward eye movements, and secondary, for items that were remapped within the left versus right visual field. Participants memorized the location of a briefly presented item, made one saccade, and subsequently decided in what direction the item had shifted. We used a staircase to adjust task difficulty. Bayesian repeated measures ANOVAs were used to compare between left versus right eye movements and items in the left versus right visual field. We found most evidence against directional differences in trans-saccadic memory (BF10=0.23). We found some evidence suggestive of enhanced trans-saccadic memory for items that were remapped within the left compared to the right visual field (BF10=4.00). The latter result could be explained by a leftward spatial attention bias. As such, the hypothesized right hemispheric dominance for spatial remapping does not result in asymmetric trans-saccadic memory capacities in healthy participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
Early online date26 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019

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