When the head does not move, rapid movements of the eyes called saccades are used to redirect the line of sight. Saccades are defined by a series of metrical and kinematic (evolution of a movement as a function of time) relationships. For example, the amplitude of a saccade made from one visual target to another is roughly 90% of the distance between the initial fixation point (T0) and the peripheral target (T1). However, this stereotypical relationship between saccade amplitude and initial retinal error (|T1-Initial Eye Position|) may be altered, either increased or decreased, by surreptitiously displacing a visual target during an ongoing saccade. This form of saccadic adaptation has been described in both humans and monkeys. We investigated the effects of a contextual cue (target color) on the magnitude of human saccadic adaptation using an eye tracker to measure our subjects' eye position. Our results indicate that target color cannot be used by the eye movement control system to elicit differential changes in motor output regardless of whether the color cues are randomly intermixed or presented sequentially.
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