In recent years, many studies have explored the conditions in which irrelevant visual distractors affect saccades trajectories. These previous studies mainly focused on the low-level stimulus characteristics and how they affect the magnitude of curvature. The present study explored the possible effect of high level semantic information on saccade curvature. Semantic saliency was manipulated by presenting irrelevant peripheral taboo versus neutral cue words in a spatial cuing paradigm that allowed for the measurement of trajectory deviations. Findings showed larger saccade trajectory deviations away from taboo (versus neutral) cue words when making a saccade towards another location. This indicates that due to their high semantic saliency, more inhibition was necessarily applied to taboo cue locations to effectively suppress their competing as saccade targets.
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