When exploring a visual scene, we frequently move our eyes to obtain high-resolution information from individual objects.
Each saccadic eye movement introduces a disruption in perceptual input, as visual perception is suppressed during saccades (Matin, 1974).
How are objects perceived as continuous across the retinal shifts and perceptual disruptions introduced by saccades?
More generally, how is the external world perceived as stable despite the changes and discontinuity in perceptual input generated during natural vision?
Several studies have demonstrated that observers fail to detect surprisingly large spatial displacements of the saccade target during eye movements (Bridgeman, Hendry, & Stark, 1975; Bridgeman & Stark, 1979), suggesting that transsaccadic memory for the location of the saccade target is highly imprecise.
Evidence that sensory-level shape features are not integrated across saccades (Bridgeman & Mayer, 1983; Irwin, 1991; Irwin, Yantis, & Jonides, 1983; O'Regan & Lévy-Schoen, 1983) has also been taken to indicate that transsaccadic memory is highly abstract (Irwin, 1992a), is more conceptual than perceptual (Mathot & Theeuwes, 2011), or is nonexistent (O'Regan, 1992).
Our findings provide insight into how stress renders individuals less sensitive to changes in aversive reinforcement and have implications for understanding clinical conditions marked by stress-related psychopathology.
Abstract: Abstract Recent evidence has suggested that relatively precise information about the location and visual form of a saccade target object is retained across a saccade.Participants completed an aversive learning task, in which one stimulus was probabilistically associated with an electric shock, while the other stimulus signaled safety.A day later, participants underwent an acute stress or control manipulation before completing a reversal learning task during which the original stimulus−outcome contingencies switched.In a dynamic environment, sources of threat or safety can unexpectedly change, requiring the flexible updating of stimulus−outcome associations that promote adaptive behavior.However, aversive contexts in which we are required to update predictions of threat are often marked by stress.Additionally, reversal learning deficits across participants were related to heightened levels of alpha-amylase, a marker of noradrenergic activity.