Temporal Stability and the Effects of Training on Saccade Latency in “Express Saccade Makers”

P C Knox, F D A Wolohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


The temporal stability of saccade latency, and the effects of training, particularly in "express saccade makers" (ESMs), has received little attention. ESMs are healthy, naïve, adults, who persist in executing very many low latency "express saccades" (ES; saccades with latency of 80 ms to 130 ms), in conditions designed to suppress such responses.We investigated the stability of ES production (%ES) in 59 ESM and 54 non-ESM participants in overlap tasks. Within a single session, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for %ES in two runs of 200 trials was 0.97 (p<0.001); participants in whom >30%of saccades over the two runs were ES, were classified as ESMs. For 60 participants tested over two sessions 12 weeks apart, and 30 participants tested in three sessions over approximately six months, the ICC for %ES was uniformly high (0.95, p<0.001 and 0.97, p< 0.001 respectively) and participants behaved consistently with their initial classification. Fourteen participants (7 ESMs) were then exposed to training consisting of either gap or overlap tasks. Training increased %ES in both groups. However, when tested in overlap tasks, it was not sufficient to transform Normal participants into ESMs. We conclude that the pattern of saccade behaviour exhibited by ESMs constitutes a stable and distinct oculomotor phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0120437
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Early online date20 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2015


  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reaction Time/physiology
  • Saccades/physiology


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