Inter-individual variability and consistency of saccade adaptation in oblique saccades: Amplitude increase and decrease in the horizontal or vertical saccade component.

Affiliation

Univ. Lille, CNRS, CHU Lille, UMR 9193 - SCALab - Sciences Cognitives et Sciences Affectives, F-59000 Lille, France; Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone, UMR 7289, Marseille, France. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Despite changes in the physical structures controlling the eyes, saccades, the rapid eye movements used to explore the visual environment, remain accurate throughout the lifetime. The process underlying this sensorimotor adaptation is studied using a double step paradigm: an intra-saccadic target displacement introduces a systematic position error which triggers changes in saccadic amplitude or direction across trials. Numerous researches on this saccade adaptation have been conducted, but the level of inter-individual variability and consistency in saccade gain change and how it relates to increase- or decrease-amplitude paradigms is not fully described. We conducted experiments in four groups of 25 participants with 800 trials per participant, including 200 baseline trials and 200 recovery trials. We used four distinct double-step paradigms that differed by the intra-saccadic target-step leading to either a horizontal (Backward or Forward) or vertical (Upward or Downward) gain modulation. Across experiments 95% of the participants exhibited adaptation, revealing the consistency of this phenomenon. We observed strong inter-individual differences, both in the extent and rate of adaptation, which were not correlated with the individual baseline saccades characteristics. As previously reported, the rates of adaptation were higher for gain decrease than for gain increase experiments but the final extent of adaptation were similar. Our results also support the view that adaptation of oblique saccades occurs where the saccade command is represented as a vector. Finally, at the individual level, we did not observe systematic changes in the saccade metrics in relation to adaptation.

Keywords

Inter-individual differences,Learning,Saccadic adaptation,Saccadic eye movements,