Eye movements can cause item-specific visual recognition advantages

Jason Rajsic, Henry Liu, Jay Pratt

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Prior research suggests that spontaneous saccades localized towards blank regions of space during memory storage and recall improve memory for items at the saccade locations. In the present study, we examined whether a recognition advantage can be observed when a single, exogenously directed saccade occurs during memory maintenance. We manipulated whether participants made a saccade to an item’s previous location or maintained fixation, as well as whether tested items reappeared in their original location or not. The results of three experiments showed that visual recognition was better after a saccade to the location of a probed object than after no saccade or after a saccade to the location of a non-probed object, so long as saccades went to the to-be-tested location more often than chance. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that eye movements can elicit an item-specific recognition advantage in visual working memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-912
JournalVisual Cognition
Early online date2 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2017


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