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Ari Z Zivotofsky, Liran Zeligman; A Stroop Task involving Pro and Anti Saccades Reveals that gaze-of-another does not Trigger Reflexive Saccades. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1814.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It is a common perception that observing someone else shift his/her gaze towards a particular location in space will evoke an automatic shift of one’s own attention (and gaze) to the looked at location. Efforts to objectively prove or disprove this assertion have resulted in a great deal of inconclusive evidence. Using a novel variation of the Stroop task, we set out to resolve this long-standing controversy in social attention about whether gaze-of-another induces reflexive shifts of one’s own attention.
We utilized a novel variation of the Stroop task, the PAT Stroop, which incorporates mixed pro- and anti-saccade responses to conflicting peripheral and gaze stimuli. Subjects eye movements were recorded with the ISCAN ETL-400 while they performed pro and anti saccades in four conditions: a) a neutral peripheral trigger with no distractor; b) a neutral gaze trigger with no distractor; c) congruent peripheral and gaze triggers with instructions to respond to one or the other; and d) incongruent peripheral and gaze triggers with instructions to respond to one or the other.
As expected, anti-trials had more errors and longer reaction times compared to pro- trials in all conditions. Gaze triggers resulted in significantly longer SRTs compared to peripheral triggers. There was also a clear "Stroop effect”, with peripheral distractors interfering with gaze triggers, but gaze distractors not interfering with peripheral triggers.
The current study using a new PAT Stroop task demonstrated reflexive supremacy of peripheral stimuli over gaze stimuli. This novel variant of the Stroop task demonstrated similar characteristics to the classic color naming Stroop- i.e. an asymmetrical pattern.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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