The effect of cognitive load on saccadic eye movements
Stuyven, E × Van der Goten, K Vandierendonck, A Claeys, Kristl Crevits, L #
Acta Psychologica vol:104 issue:1 pages:69-85
The present study tested the hypothesis that, unlike prosaccades, antisaccades require controlled processing, due to the prepotent response that needs to be inhibited. The effect of the Random time Interval Generation (RIG) task (Vandierendonck, A., De Vooght, G., & Van der Goten, K. (1998). European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 10, 413-444) on these saccade latencies and errors was studied. This task has the advantage that it loads executive processes, with only minimal interference with verbal or visuo-spatial components. A first experiment compared saccade performance within the prosaccade and the antisaccade task, executed alone and in combination with the RIG task and fixed tapping (added to exclude possible motor component interference explanations). A second experiment investigated the influence of task characteristics on the effects found. Although it was shown that antisaccades are more prone to interference of an executive interference task, it seems that prosaccades are also vulnerable. Interference on prosaccades could originate from a controlled execution of these saccades. A third experiment confirmed that endogenously generated prosaccades are susceptible to dual-task interference and showed that controlled saccade execution, without the need to inhibit a prepotent response, is sufficient to produce interference.