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J Exp Psychol Hum Learn. 1980 Jul;6(4):391-9.

The functional visual field during picture viewing.


In four experiments, pictures of complex, naturalistic scenes were shown, followed by a two-alternative forced-choice recognition test in which the targets and distractors differed in only a single, critical detail. Eye movements were recorded at the time of study in the first two experiments. In Experiment 1 we investigated eye movements during short initial exposure times and found that if the nearest fixation to the critical detail was further than about 2 degrees of visual angle, performance was no better than chance. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 using longer exposure times and an expanded set of pictures. Performance was still found to decrease with increase in distance of the nearest fixation to the critical detail, but not quite to chance. In Experiments 3 and 4 we controlled where the subject's first fixation occurred using a prefixation point of light. The results indicated that the performance again decreases with increasing distance from the critical detail; however, performances did not fall completely to chance levels. In Experiment 4 a verbal recognition test was included, and overall performance was still slightly better than chance at extreme distances. It was concluded that some information is stored from the visual periphery during picture viewing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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