Cognitive determinants of fixation location during picture viewing

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1978 Nov;4(4):565-72. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.4.4.565.


This experiment involved the question of where human observers look in a picture. The results indicated that observers fixate earlier, more often, and with longer durations on objects that have a low probability of appearing in a scene (e.g., an octopus in a farm scene) than on objects that have a high probability of appearing (e.g., a tractor in a farm scene). These findings (a) imply a role of cognitive factors in peripheral visual processing and (b) suggest a possible relationship between the nature of information initially acquired from a picture and subsequent recognition memory for that picture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Cognition*
  • Fixation, Ocular*
  • Form Perception*
  • Humans
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Saccades