Jay Edelman
Department of Biology
J526, Marshak Science Building
The City College of New York
138th St. and Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031
office: 212-650-8461
lab: 212-650-8537
fax: 212-650-8585
jedelman at
Biology Department
Science Division


Dept. of

Here are some of the things we’re interested in...

The effects of volition on express saccadic eye movements. Work in this lab has shown that the ultra short reaction time movements known as express saccades need not merely be a reflex response to suddenly appearing stimuli, but can be altered by a spatial instruction to the subject. For example, if a subject is instructed to make a saccade to one side of a visual stimulus, regardless of where it appears, the vector displacement of the saccade will be affected without an increase in reaction time.

Guidance of saccades by scene-based spatial memory. In everyday life, accurate, precise saccades can be made to elements of the visual scene that cannot be seen clearly prior to the eye movement, provided that the element has been "visited" by the eyes before. We are interested in the mechanisms of the scene-based spatial memory system that facilitate this behavior.

Saccadic inhibition and the conflict between reflexive and voluntary movement. Movements result from a combination of sensory signals and cognitive commands.  We have studied how reflexive and voluntary saccade commands can interfere with each other. Recent work (Edelman and Xu, 2009) has shown that the presentation of a nearby distractor can facilitate a voluntary saccade to a nearby location whereas a distant distractor briefly, but strongly inhibits voluntary saccades.

The dependence of saccade latency on motor training and target location probability  Work in the lab has shown that a high yield of ultra-short reaction-time saccades (express saccades) is made after a few sessions of training and that location probability has a smaller effect on the probability of express saccade occurrence. This is consistent with the possibility that express saccades are a common occurrence in everyday life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The neurophysiology of human saccadic eye movements  In collaboration with John Foxe, we have begun a project assessing the EEG correlates of human saccadic eye generation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Interaction between attentional shifts and movement commands.  We are studying how attentional shifts and movement commands can facilitate and interfere with each other, such as is seen in the Simon effect.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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