Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Findlay & Walker: Saccade generation

Close interactions between “When” and “Where” in saccade target selection: Multiple saliency and distractor effects

Christian Olivers a1, Dietmar Heinke a1, Glyn Humphreys a1a2 and Hermann Müller a2
a1 School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, England
a2 Institüt fur Allgemeine Psychologie, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany


A model of when and where saccades are made necessarily incorporates a model of the “When” and “Where” of target selection. We suggest that the framework proposed by Findlay & Walker does not specify sufficiently how (and by what means) selection processes contribute to the spatial and temporal determinants of saccade generation. Examples from across-trial priming in visual search and from the inhibition of temporally segmented distractors show linkage between the processes involved in computing when and where selection operates, so that there is cooperation rather than competition between so-called Where and When pathways. Aspects of spatial selection may also determine the remote distractor effect on saccades. The detailed relations between the processes involved in selection and saccade generation may be best understood in relation to detailed computational accounts of the processes.