Mislocalization of peripheral targets during fixation

Vision Res. 2001 Feb;41(3):343-52. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(00)00263-7.


To investigate the effect of the visual stimulus configuration on localization when oculomotor performance is excluded, we evaluated the errors made when subjects compare the horizontal location of two sequentially presented peripheral targets while looking at a visual or memorized fixation spot. Eye position was monitored by means of an infrared eye tracker. Significant localization errors were observed. As long as the fixation spot stayed on or off during the entire presentation time of both peripheral targets, the localization error did not depend on the presence or absence of the fixation spot. A significant change in the localization error was observed only if the fixation spot was presented together with the first peripheral target but disappeared before the presentation of the second one. The localization error did not depend on: (1) the visual asymmetry (unilateral versus bilateral target presentation); (2) the distribution of visual attention (cued versus non-cued test location); or (3) the time interval between the two targets. These results suggest that the mislocalization observed during fixation is partially due to a mismatch between egocentric and exocentric localization mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Normal Distribution
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Time Factors