Saccadic eye movements as an index of perceptual decision-making
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-1952-9
One of the most common decisions we make is the one about where to move our eyes next. Here we examine the impact that processing the evidence supporting competing options has on saccade programming. Participants were asked to saccade to one of two possible visual targets indicated by a cloud of moving dots. We varied the evidence which supported saccade target choice by manipulating the proportion of dots moving towards one target or the other. The task was found to become easier as the evidence supporting target choice increased. This was reflected in an increase in percent correct and a decrease in saccade latency. The trajectory and landing position of saccades were found to deviate away from the non-selected target reflecting the choice of the target and the inhibition of the non-target. The extent of the deviation was found to increase with amount of sensory evidence supporting target choice. This shows that decision-making processes involved in saccade target choice have an impact on the spatial control of a saccade. This would seem to extend the notion of the processes involved in the control of saccade metrics beyond a competition between visual stimuli to one also reflecting a competition between options.