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Voluntary and involuntary contributions to perceptually guided saccadic choices resolved with millisecond precision

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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e46359 doi: 10.7554/eLife.46359

Abstract

In the antisaccade task, which is considered a sensitive assay of cognitive 1 function, a salient visual cue appears and the participant must look away from it. This requires sensory, motor-planning, and cognitive neural mechanisms, but what are their unique contributions to performance, and when exactly are they engaged? Here, by manipulating task urgency, we generate a psychophysical curve that tracks the evolution of the saccadic choice process with millisec ond precision, and resolve the distinct contributions of reflexive (exogenous) and voluntary (endogenous) perceptual mechanisms to antisaccade performance over time. Both progress extremely rapidly, the former driving the eyes toward the cue early on (∼100 ms after cue onset) and the latter directing them away from the cue ∼40 ms later. The behavioral and modeling results provide a detailed, dynamical characterization of attentional and oculomotor capture that is not only qualitatively consistent across participants, but also indicative of their individual perceptual capacities.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Emilio Salinas

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    For correspondence
    esalinas@wakehealth.edu
    Competing interests
    Emilio Salinas, Reviewing editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7411-5693
  2. Benjamin R Steinberg

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Lauren A Sussman

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Sophia M Fry

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  5. Christopher K Hauser

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. Denise D Anderson

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  7. Terrence R Stanford

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.

Funding

National Eye Institute (R01EY025172)

  • Emilio Salinas
  • Terrence R Stanford

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (T32NS073553-01)

  • Christopher K Hauser

National Science Foundation (Graduate research fellowship)

  • Christopher K Hauser

Tab Williams Family Endowment

  • Emilio Salinas
  • Terrence R Stanford

National Eye Institute (R01EY021228)

  • Emilio Salinas
  • Terrence R Stanford

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Human subjects: All participants provided informed written consent before the experiment. All experimental procedures were conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Daeyeol Lee, Yale School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: February 24, 2019
  2. Accepted: June 20, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 21, 2019 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2019, Salinas et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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