Paper in Perception
  • De Vries, J., Van der Stigchel, S., Hooge, I., Verstraten, F. (2018). The Lifetime of Salience Extends Beyond the Initial Saccade. Perception, 47(2), 125-142.

    Several models of selection in search predict that saccades are biased toward conspicuous objects (also referred to as salient objects). Indeed, it has been demonstrated that initial saccades are biased toward the most conspicuous candidate. However, in a recent study, no such bias was found for the second saccade, and it was concluded that the attraction of conspicuous elements is limited to only short-latency initial saccades. This conclusion is based on only a single feature manipulation (orientation contrast) and conflicts with the prediction of influential salience models. Here, we investigate whether this result can be generalized beyond the domain of orientation. In displays containing three luminance annuli (Experiment 1), we find a considerable bias toward the most conspicuous candidate for the second saccade. In Experiment 1, the target could not be discriminated peripherally. When we made the target peripherally discriminable, the second saccade was no longer biased toward the more conspicuous candidate (Experiment 2). Thus, conspicuity plays a role in saccadic selection beyond the initial saccade. Whether second saccades are biased toward conspicuous objects appears to depend on the type of feature contrast underlying the conspicuity and the peripheral discriminability of target properties.