Spatiotopic visual maps revealed by saccadic adaptation in humans

Eckart Zimmermann, David Burr, Maria Concetta Morrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Saccadic adaptation [1] is a powerful experimental paradigm to probe the mechanisms of eye movement control and spatial vision, in which saccadic amplitudes change in response to false visual feedback. The adaptation occurs primarily in the motor system [2, 3], but there is also evidence for visual adaptation, depending on the size and the permanence of the postsaccadic error [4-7]. Here we confirm that adaptation has a strong visual component and show that the visual component of the adaptation is spatially selective in external, not retinal coordinates. Subjects performed a memory-guided, double-saccade, outward-adaptation task designed to maximize visual adaptation and to dissociate the visual and motor corrections. When the memorized saccadic target was in the same position (in external space) as that used in the adaptation training, saccade targeting was strongly influenced by adaptation (even if not matched in retinal or cranial position), but when in the same retinal or cranial but different external spatial position, targeting was unaffected by adaptation, demonstrating unequivocal spatiotopic selectivity. These results point to the existence of a spatiotopic neural representation for eye movement control that adapts in response to saccade error signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1384
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 23 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatiotopic visual maps revealed by saccadic adaptation in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this