Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of Early Visual Cortex During Transsaccadic Integration of Object Features
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Visual information is integrated across saccades to maintain a continuous spatiotemporal representation of the world. This study investigated the role of early visual cortex (EVC) in trans-saccadic integration using functional magnetic resonance imaging guided repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) protocol. Triple-pulse rTMS was applied over left and right EVC during the fixation task (participants maintained gaze), and saccade task (participants made an eye movement that either maintained or reversed the visual quadrant of the test stimulus). rTMS had no effect when 1) fixation was maintained, 2) saccades kept the stimulus in the same visual quadrant, or 3) quadrant corresponding to the first Gabor patch was stimulated. However, rTMS affected performance (relative to opposite EVC rTMS) when saccades brought the remembered visual stimulus into the magnetically stimulated quadrant. This effect increased with saccade amplitude. These results show that EVC is involved in the memory and ‘remapping’ of visual features across saccades.