Temporal and spatial effects of visual distractors upon saccades

My main research focuses on studying how visual changes at locations other than where we intend to look interfere with ongoing eye movements. I use Saccadic Inhibition (SI) as a model of eye movement interference.

Methodology

I mainly record eye movements by using state of the art thechology such as the EyeLink 1000 (SR research) and custom made eye coil system. I have experience on simultaneous EEG and eye movements recordings. During my PhD I also worked on simultaneous/serial eye-hand control. For most of my experiments, stimulus display and offline analysis are performed in Matlab and LabView.

Trans-saccadic integration of visual features

Recently, I have started a new project investigating how visual information is remapped across eye movements by looking at fixation related potentials (fERP) in different conditions of pre-viewing.

SI modulates aspects of visual perception

SI can be succesfully used as a tool to investigate changes in perceptual performance consequent to eye movement interference. In particular, I am studying how SI interferes with the updating of the visual information in both the temporal and spatial domain (Buonocore & Melcher, 2015).

Kinematic alterations induced by saccadic inhibition

Saccadic inhibition is not only a temporal phenomenon. After a visual transient is presented, a complex pattern of modulations can be observed in the spatial parameters of the eye movement. These modulations are so fast that can  alter the saccades just prior their execution (Buonocore et al., 2016).

In a new set of experiments (Buonocore et al., 2017) we propose  that visual stimulation during movement preparation affects not only a topographically-organized saccadic “Go” system driving eye movements, but also a “Pause” system inhibiting them. If the “Pause” system happens to be already turned off despite the new visual input, movement kinematics can be altered by the instantaneous spatial read-out of additional visually-evoked spikes in the “Go” system coding for the visual input's location.