Discriminative control of saccadic reaction times using a latency-contingent visual search task

Publication Type: Presentation
Publication: Society of Quantitative Analysis of Behavior, Denver, USA (2017)


Saccadic eye movements may be regarded as an observing behavior mostly concerned with the spatial localization of objects. Yet, the world we live in is dynamic and saccade triggering should also be affected by the temporal regularities of our environment. Despite much research concerned with spatial saccade selection, little is known about the ability to control when to saccade in relation to environmental temporal structures. Here we probe whether discriminative control of reaction times can be established using a latency-contingent visual display in a search task. Our results demonstrate the stimulus-control of saccadic latencies, further confirming the operant nature of saccades. This study reveals that saccade execution is finely controlled by learned temporal and spatial properties of the environment.