The eye that binds

Feature integration is not disrupted by saccadic eye movements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Feature integration theory proposes that visual features, such as shape and colour, can only be combined into a unified object when spatial attention is directed to their location in retinotopic maps. Eye movements cause dramatic changes on our retinae, and are associated with obligatory shifts in spatial attention. In two experiments, we measured the prevalence of conjunction errors (that is, reporting an object as having an attribute that belonged to another object), for brief stimulus presentation before, during, and after a saccade. Planning and executing a saccade did not itself disrupt feature integration. Motion did disrupt feature integration, leading to an increase in conjunction errors. However, retinal motion of an equal extent but caused by saccadic eye movements is spared this disruption, and showed similar rates of conjunction errors as a condition with static stimuli presented to a static eye. The results suggest extra-retinal signals are able to compensate for the motion caused by saccadic eye movements, thereby preserving the integrity of objects across saccades and preventing their features from mixing or mis-binding.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAttention, Perception & Psychophysics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Aug 2019

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Saccades
stimulus
integrity
Eye Movements
Retina
Color
planning
cause
experiment
Conjunction Errors
Spatial Attention
Stimulus

Keywords

  • attention
  • eye movements
  • object recognition

Cite this

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title = "The eye that binds: Feature integration is not disrupted by saccadic eye movements",
abstract = "Feature integration theory proposes that visual features, such as shape and colour, can only be combined into a unified object when spatial attention is directed to their location in retinotopic maps. Eye movements cause dramatic changes on our retinae, and are associated with obligatory shifts in spatial attention. In two experiments, we measured the prevalence of conjunction errors (that is, reporting an object as having an attribute that belonged to another object), for brief stimulus presentation before, during, and after a saccade. Planning and executing a saccade did not itself disrupt feature integration. Motion did disrupt feature integration, leading to an increase in conjunction errors. However, retinal motion of an equal extent but caused by saccadic eye movements is spared this disruption, and showed similar rates of conjunction errors as a condition with static stimuli presented to a static eye. The results suggest extra-retinal signals are able to compensate for the motion caused by saccadic eye movements, thereby preserving the integrity of objects across saccades and preventing their features from mixing or mis-binding.",
keywords = "attention, eye movements, object recognition",
author = "Josephine Reuther and Ramakrishna Chakravarthi and Hunt, {Amelia R.}",
note = "Open Access via the Springer Compact Agreement FundRef James S. McDonnell Foundation The data for both experiments, as well as a file containing the stimuli of experiment 1 are available at https://osf.io/k49mf/, where experiment 1 was also preregistered. Acknowledgements: The authors thank Johanna Barclay, Rachel Buhler, Qjan Li, Jesus Rendon, Caitlyn Smith, Alejandro Suarez and Vasilena Voynikova, who collected the data of experiment 2 as part of a group project.",
year = "2019",
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doi = "10.3758/s13414-019-01873-7",
language = "English",
journal = "Attention, Perception & Psychophysics",
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AU - Reuther, Josephine

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AU - Hunt, Amelia R.

N1 - Open Access via the Springer Compact Agreement FundRef James S. McDonnell Foundation The data for both experiments, as well as a file containing the stimuli of experiment 1 are available at https://osf.io/k49mf/, where experiment 1 was also preregistered. Acknowledgements: The authors thank Johanna Barclay, Rachel Buhler, Qjan Li, Jesus Rendon, Caitlyn Smith, Alejandro Suarez and Vasilena Voynikova, who collected the data of experiment 2 as part of a group project.

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N2 - Feature integration theory proposes that visual features, such as shape and colour, can only be combined into a unified object when spatial attention is directed to their location in retinotopic maps. Eye movements cause dramatic changes on our retinae, and are associated with obligatory shifts in spatial attention. In two experiments, we measured the prevalence of conjunction errors (that is, reporting an object as having an attribute that belonged to another object), for brief stimulus presentation before, during, and after a saccade. Planning and executing a saccade did not itself disrupt feature integration. Motion did disrupt feature integration, leading to an increase in conjunction errors. However, retinal motion of an equal extent but caused by saccadic eye movements is spared this disruption, and showed similar rates of conjunction errors as a condition with static stimuli presented to a static eye. The results suggest extra-retinal signals are able to compensate for the motion caused by saccadic eye movements, thereby preserving the integrity of objects across saccades and preventing their features from mixing or mis-binding.

AB - Feature integration theory proposes that visual features, such as shape and colour, can only be combined into a unified object when spatial attention is directed to their location in retinotopic maps. Eye movements cause dramatic changes on our retinae, and are associated with obligatory shifts in spatial attention. In two experiments, we measured the prevalence of conjunction errors (that is, reporting an object as having an attribute that belonged to another object), for brief stimulus presentation before, during, and after a saccade. Planning and executing a saccade did not itself disrupt feature integration. Motion did disrupt feature integration, leading to an increase in conjunction errors. However, retinal motion of an equal extent but caused by saccadic eye movements is spared this disruption, and showed similar rates of conjunction errors as a condition with static stimuli presented to a static eye. The results suggest extra-retinal signals are able to compensate for the motion caused by saccadic eye movements, thereby preserving the integrity of objects across saccades and preventing their features from mixing or mis-binding.

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