The spatial relationship between scanning saccades and express saccades.

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When monkeys interrupt their saccadic scanning of a visual scene to look at a suddenly appearing target, saccades to the target are made after an "express" latency or after a longer "regular" latency. The purpose of this study was to analyze the spatial patterns of scanning, express, and regular saccades. Scanning patterns were spatially biased. Express saccade patterns were biased, too, and were directly correlated with scanning patterns. Regular saccade patterns were more uniform and were not directly correlated with scanning patterns. Express saccades, but not regular saccades, seemed to be facilitated by preparation to scan. This study contributes to a general understanding of how monkeys examine scenes containing both unchanging and suddenly appearing stimuli.







Marc A. Sommer

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

We study circuits for cognition. Using a combination of neurophysiology and biomedical engineering, we focus on the interaction between brain areas during visual perception, decision-making, and motor planning. Specific projects include the role of frontal cortex in metacognition, the role of cerebellar-frontal circuits in action timing, the neural basis of "good enough" decision-making (satisficing), and the neural mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

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