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Microsaccadic inhibition and P300 enhancement in a visual oddball task


Address reprint requests to: Matteo Valsecchi, Department of Cognitive Sciences and Education, Corso Bettini 31, 38068 Rovereto (TN), Italy. E-mail:


It has recently been demonstrated that the presentation of visual oddballs induces a prolonged inhibition of microsaccades. The amplitude of the P300 component in event-related potentials (ERPs) has been shown to be sensitive to the category (target vs. nontarget) of the eliciting stimulus, its overall probability, and the preceding stimulus sequence. In the present study we further specify the functional underpinnings of the prolonged microsaccadic inhibition in the visual oddball task, showing that the stimulus category, the frequency of a stimulus, and the preceding stimulus sequence influence microsaccade rate. Furthermore, by co-recording ERPs and eye movements, we were able to demonstrate that, despite being largely sensitive to the same experimental manipulation, the amplitude of P300 and the microsaccadic inhibition predict each other only weakly.

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