View Full Version : Express Saccades & Attention: BBS Call for Commentators

09-12-1992, 07:33 AM
Below is the abstract of a forthcoming target article by B. Fischer &
H. Weber on express saccadic eye movements and attention. It has been
accepted for publication in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), an
international, interdisciplinary journal that provides Open Peer
Commentary on important and controversial current research in the
biobehavioral and cognitive sciences. Commentators must be current BBS
Associates or nominated by a current BBS Associate. To be considered as
a commentator on this article, to suggest other appropriate
commentators, or for information about how to become a BBS Associate,
please send email to:

harnad@clarity.princeton.edu or harnad@pucc.bitnet or write to:
BBS, 20 Nassau Street, #240, Princeton NJ 08542 [tel: 609-921-7771]

To help us put together a balanced list of commentators, please give some
indication of the aspects of the topic on which you would bring your
areas of expertise to bear if you were selected as a commentator. An
electronic draft of the full text is available for inspection by anonymous
ftp according to the instructions that follow after the abstract.
__________________________________________________ __________________


B. Fischer and H. Weber
Department Neurophysiology
Hansastr. 9
D - 78 Freiburg
aiple@sun1.ruf.uni-freiburg.de (c/o Franz Aiple)

KEYWORDS: Eye movements, Saccade, Express Saccade, Vision, Fixation,
Attention, Cortex, Reaction Time, Dyslexia

ABSTRACT: One of the most intriguing and controversial observations in
oculomotor research in recent years is the phenomenon of express
saccades in man and monkey. These are saccades of so extremely short
reaction times (100 ms in man, 70 ms in monkey) that some experts on
eye movements still regard them as artifacts or anticipatory reactions
that do not need any further explanation. On the other hand, some
research groups consider them to be not only authentic but also a
valuable means of investigating the mechanisms of saccade generation,
the coordination of vision and eye movements, and the mechanisms of
visual attention.

This target article puts together pieces of experimental evidence in
oculomotor and related research - with special emphasis on the express
saccade - in order to enhance our present understanding of the
coordination of vision, visual attention, and eye movements necessary
for visual perception and cognition.

We hypothethize that an optomotor reflex is responsible for the
occurrence of express saccades, one that is controlled by higher brain
functions of disengaged visual attention and decision making. We
describe a neural network as a basis for more elaborate mathematical
models and computer simulations of the optomotor system in primates.

To help you decide whether you would be an appropriate commentator for
this article, an electronic draft is retrievable by anonymous ftp from
princeton.edu according to the instructions below (the filename is
bbs.fischer). Please do not prepare a commentary on this draft. Just
let us know, after having inspected it, what relevant expertise you
feel you would bring to bear on what aspect of the article.
To retrieve a file by ftp from a Unix/Internet site, type either:
ftp princeton.edu
When you are asked for your login, type:
Enter password as per instructions (make sure to include the specified @),
and then change directories with:
cd /pub/harnad
To show the available files, type:
Next, retrieve the file you want with (for example):
get bbs.fischer
When you have the file(s) you want, type:

Certain non-Unix/Internet sites have a facility you can use that is
equivalent to the above. Sometimes the procedure for connecting to
princeton.edu will be a two step process such as:

followed at the prompt by:
open princeton.edu

In case of doubt or difficulty, consult your system manager.


JANET users who do not have an ftp facilty for interactive file
transfer (this requires a JIPS connection on your local machine -
consult your system manager if in doubt) can use a similar facility
available at JANET site UK.AC.NSF.SUN (numeric equivalent
000040010180), logging in using 'guestftp' as both login and
password. The online help information gives details of the transfer
procedure which is similar to the above. The file received on the
NSF.SUN machine needs to be transferred to your home machine to read
it, which can be done either using a 'push' command on the NSF.SUN
machine, or (usually faster) by initiating the file transfer from
your home machine. In the latter case the file on the NSF.SUN machine
must be referred to as directory-name/filename (the directory name to
use being that provided by you when you logged on to UK.AC.NSF.SUN).
To be sociable (since NSF.SUN is short of disc space), once you have
received the file on your own machine you should delete the file from
the UK.AC.NSF.SUN machine.

This facility is very often overloaded, and an off-line relay
facility at site UK.AC.FT-RELAY (which is simpler to use in any
case) can be used as an alternative. The process is almost identical
to file transfer within JANET, and the general method is illustrated
in the following example. With some machines, filenames and the
username need to be placed within quotes to prevent unacceptable
transposion to upper case (as may apply also to the transfer from
NSF.SUN described above).

Send or Fetch: f
>From Remote Filename: princeton.edu:/pub/harnad/bbs.fischer
To Local Filename: bbs.fischer
Remote Sitename: uk.ac.ft-relay
Remote Username: anonymous
Remote Password: [enter your full email address including userid for
this, or it won't be accepted]
Queue this request? y

Or if you wish you can get a listing of the available files, by giving
the remote filename as:


Because of traffic delays through the FT-RELAY, still another method
can sometimes be recommended, which is to use the Princeton bitftp
fileserver described below. Typically, one sends a mail message of
the form:

FTP princeton.edu UUENCODE
USER anonymous
LS /pub/harnad
GET /pub/harnad/bbs.fischer

(the line beginning LS is required only if you need a listing of
available files) to email address BITFTP@EARN.PUCC or to
BITFTP@EDU.PRINCETON, and receives the requested file in the form of
one or more email messages.

[Thanks to Brian Josephson (BDJ10@UK.AC.CAM.PHX) for the above
detailed UK/JANET instructions; similar special instructions for file
retrieval from other networks or countries would be appreciated and
will be included in updates of these instructions.]


Where the above procedures are not available (e.g. from Bitnet or other
networks), there are two fileservers:
that will do the transfer for you. To one or the
other of them, send the following one line message:


for instructions (which will be similar to the above, but will be in
the form of a series of lines in an email message that ftpmail or
bitftp will then execute for you).