Centre-of-gravity fixations in visual search: when looking at nothing helps to find something

Venini, Dustin, Remington, Roger W., Horstmann, Gernot and Becker, Stefanie I. (2014) Centre-of-gravity fixations in visual search: when looking at nothing helps to find something. Journal of Ophthalmology, 2014 . doi:10.1155/2014/237812

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Author Venini, Dustin
Remington, Roger W.
Horstmann, Gernot
Becker, Stefanie I.
Title Centre-of-gravity fixations in visual search: when looking at nothing helps to find something
Journal name Journal of Ophthalmology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2090-0058
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1155/2014/237812
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2014
Total pages 14
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract In visual search, some fixations are made between stimuli on empty regions, commonly referred to as "centre-of-gravity" fixations (henceforth: COG fixations). Previous studies have shown that observers with task expertise show more COG fixations than novices. This led to the view that COG fixations reflect simultaneous encoding of multiple stimuli, allowing more efficient processing of task-related items. The present study tested whether COG fixations also aid performance in visual search tasks with unfamiliar and abstract stimuli. Moreover, to provide evidence for the multiple-item processing view, we analysed the effects of COG fixations on the number and dwell times of stimulus fixations. The results showed that (1) search efficiency increased with increasing COG fixations even in search for unfamiliar stimuli and in the absence of special higher-order skills, (2) COG fixations reliably reduced the number of stimulus fixations and their dwell times, indicating processing of multiple distractors, and (3) the proportion of COG fixations was dynamically adapted to potential information gain of COG locations. A second experiment showed that COG fixations are diminished when stimulus positions unpredictably vary across trials. Together, the results support the multiple-item processing view, which has important implications for current theories of visual search.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article ID 237812

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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