Adaptation of naturally paced saccades

Article


Gray, Michael J., Blangero, Annabelle, Herman, James P., Wallman, Josh and Harwood, M. 2014. Adaptation of naturally paced saccades. Journal of Neurophysiology. 111 (11), pp. 2343-2354.
AuthorsGray, Michael J., Blangero, Annabelle, Herman, James P., Wallman, Josh and Harwood, M.
Abstract

In the natural environment, humans make saccades almost continuously. In many eye movement experiments, however, observers are required to fixate for unnaturally long periods of time. The resulting long and monotonous experimental sessions can become especially problematic when collecting data in a clinical setting, where time can be scarce and subjects easily fatigued. With this in mind, we tested whether the well-studied motor learning process of saccade adaptation could be induced with a dramatically shortened intertrial interval. Observers made saccades to targets that stepped left or right either ∼250 ms or ∼1,600 ms after the saccade landed. In experiment I, we tested baseline saccade parameters to four different target amplitudes (5°, 10°, 15°, and 20°) in the two timing settings. In experiments II and III, we adapted 10° saccades via 2° intrasaccadic steps either backwards or forwards, respectively. Seven subjects performed eight separate adaptation sessions (2 intertrial timings × 2 adaptation direction × 2 session trial lengths). Adaptation proceeded remarkably similarly in both timing conditions across the multiple sessions. In the faster-paced sessions, robust adaptation was achieved in under 2 min, demonstrating the efficacy of our approach to streamlining saccade adaptation experiments. Although saccade amplitudes were similar between conditions, the faster-paced condition unexpectedly resulted in significantly higher peak velocities in all subjects. This surprising finding demonstrates that the stereotyped “main sequence” relationship between saccade amplitude and peak velocity is not as fixed as originally thought.

JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Journal citation111 (11), pp. 2343-2354
ISSN0022-3077
Year2014
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1152/jn.00905.2013
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00905.2013
Publication dates
Online01 Jun 2014
Print01 Jun 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Sep 2018
Accepted11 Mar 2014
Accepted11 Mar 2014
Copyright information© 2014 American Physiological Society
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