Cells in saccade control areas respond if a saccade is about to bring a target into their receptive fields (J. R. Duhamel, C. L. Colby, & M. R. Goldberg, 1992). This remapping process should shift the retinal location from which attention selects target information (P. Cavanagh, A. R. Hunt, S. R. Afraz, & M. Rolfs, 2010). We examined this attention shift in a masking experiment where target and mask were presented just before an eye movement. In a control condition with no eye movement, masks interfered with target identification only when they spatially overlapped. Just before a saccade, however, a mask overlapping the target had less effect, whereas a mask placed in the target's remapped location was quite effective. The remapped location is the retinal position the target will have after the upcoming saccade, which corresponds to neither the retinotopic nor spatiotopic location of the target before the saccade. Both effects are consistent with a pre-saccadic shift in the location from which attention selects target information. In the case of retinally aligned target and mask, the shift of attention away from the target location reduces masking, but when the mask appears at the target's remapped location, attention's shift to that location brings in mask information that interferes with the target identification.
- visual masking
- eye movements