Saccadic eye-movements to a visual target are less accurate if there are distracters close to its location (local distracters). The addition of more distracters, remote from the target location (remote distracters), invokes an involuntary increase in the response latency of the saccade and attenuates the effect of local distracters on accuracy. This may be due to the target and distracters directly competing (direct route) or to the remote distracters acting to impair the ability to disengage from fixation (indirect route). To distinguish between these we examined the development of saccade competition by recording saccade latency and accuracy responses made to a target and local distracter compared with those made with an addition of a remote distracter. The direct route would predict that the remote distracter impacts on the developing competition between target and local distracter, while the indirect route would predict no change as the accuracy benefit here derives from accessing the same competitive process but at a later stage. We found that the presence of the remote distracter did not change the pattern of accuracy improvement. This suggests that the remote distracter was acting along an indirect route that inhibits disengagement from fixation, slows saccade initiation, and enables more accurate saccades to be made
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