Trial type probability modulates the cost of antisaccades

Hui Yan Chiau, Philip Tseng, Jia Han Su, Ovid J.L. Tzeng, Daisy L. Hung, Neil G. Muggleton, Chi Hung Juan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The antisaccade task, where eye movements are made away from a target, has been used to investigate the flexibility of cognitive control of behavior. Antisaccades usually have longer saccade latencies than prosaccades, the so-called antisaccade cost. Recent studies have shown that this antisaccade cost can be modulated by event probability. This may mean that the antisaccade cost can be reduced, or even reversed, if the probability of surrounding events favors the execution of antisaccades. The probabilities of prosaccades and antisaccades were systematically manipulated by changing the proportion of a certain type of trial in an interleaved pro/antisaccades task. We aimed to disentangle the intertwined relationship between trial type probabilities and the antisaccade cost with the ultimate goal of elucidating how probabilities of trial types modulate human flexible behaviors, as well as the characteristics of such modulation effects. To this end, we examined whether implicit trial type probability can influence saccade latencies and also manipulated the difficulty of cue discriminability to see how effects of trial type probability would change when the demand on visual perceptual analysis was high or low. A mixed-effects model was applied to the analysis to dissect the factors contributing to the modulation effects of trial type probabilities. Our results suggest that the trial type probability is one robust determinant of antisaccade cost. These findings highlight the importance of implicit probability in the flexibility of cognitive control of behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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