Exp-Brain-Res. 93:335-344, 1993

Weber, H., Latanov, A., and Fischer, B.
Context dependent amplitude modulations of express and regular saccades in man and monkey.
Exp-Brain-Res. 93:335-344, 1993.


Saccadic reaction times and amplitudes were determined in four human subjects and two rhesus monkeys when they made saccades to visual targets appearing in different spatial or temporal contexts. Two stimuli were presented at different positions, either simultaneously (global condition) or in random order (range condition). Both the gap and the overlap paradigm were used. The characteristics of different groups of saccades defined by the separate peaks in the distribution of the saccadic reaction times as express and regular saccades, were analysed and compared. It is shown that, in man and monkey, the amplitudes of express saccades undergo the same or even stronger context- dependent changes as do those of regular saccades. Furthermore, the presence or absence of the fixation point also influences the saccadic amplitudes, at least for the express saccades. We conclude that the neural mechanisms that determine the amplitudes of the express saccades are more strictly under the control of the physical and physiological conditions of the stimulus situation, whereas regular saccades have greater--although not complete--dependence on the psychological context and, in particular, the subject's effort.

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