The present study examines the extent to which distractors that signal the availability of monetary reward on a given trial affect eye movements. We used a novel eye movement task in which observers had to follow a target around the screen while ignoring distractors presented at varying locations. We examined the effects of reward magnitude and distractor location on a host of oculomotor properties, including saccade latency, amplitude, landing position, curvature, and erroneous saccades towards the distractor. We found consistent effects of reward magnitude on classic oculomotor phenomena such as the remote distractor effect, the global effect, and oculomotor capture by the distractor. We also show that a distractor in the visual hemifield opposite to the target had a larger effect on oculomotor control than an equidistant distractor in the same hemifield as the target. Bayesian hierarchical drift diffusion modelling revealed large differences in drift rate depending on the reward value, location and visual hemifield of the distractor stimulus. Our findings suggest that high reward distractors not only capture the eyes, but affect a multitude of oculomotor properties associated with oculomotor inhibition and control.
- oculomotor control
- remote distractor
- global effect
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology