A landmark effect in the perceived displacement of objects

J. Stephen Higgins, Ranxiao Frances Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perceiving the displacement of an object after a visual distraction is an essential ability to interact with the world. Previous research has shown a bias to perceive the first object seen after a saccade as stable while the second one moving (landmark effect). The present study examines the generality and nature of this phenomenon. The landmark effect was observed in the absence of eye movements, when the two objects were obscured by a blank screen, a moving-pattern mask, or simply disappeared briefly before reappearing one after the other. The first reappearing object was not required to remain visible while the second object reappeared to induce the bias. The perceived direction of the displacement was mainly determined by the relative displacement of the two objects, suggesting that the landmark effect is primarily due to a landmark calibration mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2010


  • Landmark effect
  • Object location
  • Object perception
  • Saccadic suppression
  • Visual stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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