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EPS Workshop on Oculomotor Readiness and Covert Attention at Uni Durham

SciencePosted by Daniela Balslev Tue, April 05, 2016 23:55:58
Alex and Daniela are attending the EPS Workshop on Oculomotor Readiness and Covert Attention organized by Dan Smith at University of Durham.

It was Alex first poster session - WELL DONE ALEX!

Summary of Daniela's talk

Oculoproprioception –
an eye position signal selective for coding the locus of attention?

The most commonly observed neural representations for visual attention encode location relative to the direction of gaze. Without information about the rotation of one’s own eyes in the orbits cars around us in traffic or food on our plate would appear to change location with every eye movement. Furthermore, gaze information is necessary to align visual locations with sound or touch to enable cross-modal interactions. Despite the importance of the gaze information in the brain’s representations for spatial attention, the sources of this gaze input to the attention maps have remained unknown.

There are two main signals of eye rotation. The copy of the command sent to the extraocular muscles (corollary discharge, CD) is predictive, therefore faster. The reafference from these muscles (oculoproprioception, OP) is slower, but more accurate. In my talk I will argue that these signals are used flexibly, depending on behavioral goals. Locating objects relative to the body, for instance to guide a pointing movement, relies mainly on the fast signal, CD. In contrast, OP seems to be more important for perception, i.e, allocating attention in the body-centered space.

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