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Title:Visual working memory supports perceptual stability across saccadic eye movements
Author(s):Cronin, Deborah A.
Director of Research:Irwin, David E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Irwin, David E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lleras, Alejandro; Buetti, Simona; Beck, Diane M.; Christianson, Kiel
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):eye movements
visual working memory
transsaccadic memory
perceptual stability
Abstract:Vision is suppressed during saccadic eye movements. To create a stable perception of the visual world we must stitch together the gaps in visual input caused by this suppression. Early theories of perceptual stability proposed that information about the position of the eye could be used to cancel out changes in the retinal information resulting from a saccade. In contrast, more contemporary theories have proposed that perceptual stability relies on object correspondence across saccades, perhaps limited to the saccade target alone. According to these views, the visual system encodes features of the saccade target object into visual working memory (VWM) before a saccade is made. After the saccade, participants attempt to locate those features within a small region near the fovea. If this locating process succeeds, perceptual stability is maintained. The present study investigated directly whether perceptual stability does indeed rely on VWM. If it does, then perceived stability should be impaired when VWM is loaded with other visual information. Six experiments were conducted in which participants detected saccade target displacements while simultaneously maintaining a VWM or auditory working memory load (AWM). The VWM load negatively impacted participants’ ability to detect saccade target displacements and the saccade target displacement task negatively impacted memory for VWM task items. Neither of these effects were apparent when AWM was loaded. These results support the hypothesis that visual working memory supports perceptual stability across saccadic eye movements.
Issue Date:2018-05-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Deborah Cronin
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-27
Date Deposited:2018-08

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