Contributions of gaze-centered and object-centered coding in a double-step saccade task.J Vis. 2016 11 01; 16(14):12.JV
The position of a saccade target can be encoded in gaze-centered coordinates, that is, relative to the current gaze position, or in object-centered coordinates, that is, relative to an object in the environment. We tested the role of gaze-centered and object-centered coding in a double-step saccade task involving the Brentano version of the Müller-Lyer illusion. The two visual targets were presented either sequentially, requiring gaze-centered coding of the second saccade target, or simultaneously, thereby providing additional object-centered information about the location of the second target relative to the first. We found that the endpoint of the second saccade was affected by the illusion, irrespective of whether the targets were presented sequentially or simultaneously, suggesting that participants used a gaze-centered updating strategy. We found that variability in saccade endpoints was reduced when object-centered information was consistently available but not when its presence varied from trial to trial. Our results suggest that gaze-centered coding is dominant in the planning of sequential saccades, whereas object-centered information plays a relatively small role.