Object-location binding across a saccade: A retinotopic spatial congruency bias


Despite frequent eye movements that rapidly shift the locations of objects on our retinas, our visual system creates a stable perception of the world. To do this, it must convert eye-centered (retinotopic) input to world-centered (spatiotopic) percepts. Moreover, for successful behavior we must also incorporate information about object features/identities during this updating - a fundamental challenge that remains to be understood. Here we adapted a recent behavioral paradigm, the "spatial congruency bias," to investigate object-location binding across an eye movement. In two initial baseline experiments, we showed that the spatial congruency bias was present for both gabor and face stimuli in addition to the object stimuli used in the original paradigm. Then, across three main experiments, we found the bias was preserved across an eye movement, but only in retinotopic coordinates: Subjects were more likely to perceive two stimuli as having the same features/identity when they were presented in the same retinotopic location. Strikingly, there was no evidence of location binding in the more ecologically relevant spatiotopic (world-centered) coordinates; the reference frame did not update to spatiotopic even at longer post-saccade delays, nor did it transition to spatiotopic with more complex stimuli (gabors, shapes, and faces all showed a retinotopic congruency bias). Our results suggest that object-location binding may be tied to retinotopic coordinates, and that it may need to be re-established following each eye movement rather than being automatically updated to spatiotopic coordinates.


Shafer-Skelton, A., Kupitz, C., & Golomb, J. (2017). Object-location binding across a saccade: A retinotopic spatial congruency bias. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 79, 765–781.


    title   = {{O}bject-location binding across a saccade: {A} retinotopic spatial congruency bias},
    author  = {Shafer-Skelton, Anna and Kupitz, Colin and Golomb, Julie},
    year    = {2017},
    journal = {Attention, Perception, \& Psychophysics},
    volume  = {79},
    pages   = {765--781}