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Do saccadic eye movements affect attentional control processes? A study of effects of eye movements on response inhibition and initiation

Carriline, Lauren Anne (2013) Do saccadic eye movements affect attentional control processes? A study of effects of eye movements on response inhibition and initiation. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

As the effects of saccade induced cognition enhancement (SICE) have been found in studies investigating the effects of eye movements on memory, the intention of this study was to evaluate if SICE effects are observed on tasks that demand higher levels of attentional control; in line with theoretical predictions of Lyle and colleagues theory of saccades increasing attentional control and in turn improving executive functioning. A 2x3 experimental design was used with the within-subjects variables being performance on a number-character Stroop test and a modified version of the Haylings sentence completion task. The between subjects variable was eye movement condition (bilateral, vertical, central fixation). Analysis of the data by 2x3 ANOVAs found increased accuracy and decreased response times for the incongruent Stroop condition after the execution of 30 seconds of saccadic eye movements. On the Haylings task the only significant effect of eye movement condition found was on the response initiation task. The findings offer partial support the notion of saccades increasing attentional control efficiency; and support the findings of Edlin and Lyle (2013) that saccades can exert SICE effects on executive function tasks.

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