Effect of the appearance of a new object on oculomotor control

J. Theeuwes, A. F. Kramer, S. Hahn, T. Waite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To delerminr the extent to which endogenously controlled eye movements are affected by the sudden appearance of an irrelevant object (an abrupt onset). Previous research has shown that visual attention is captured by the appearance of a new object (e.g., V'antis, 1993). jyie.thQ.dj. Observers had to make an eye movement to a predefined target prestnt in th visual Held. At different SOAs after the presentation of the target (0. 50. 100. 150 ins), an abrupt onset was presented at different locations in the visual field. Both manual and eye latencies were measured as well as the scan patch of the eye. Results: The results indicate that at the early SOAs, latencies to respond to the target were increased when the onset was presented near the target location. At later SOAs and at locations away from the target, the onset had no effect. Conclusion. The appearance of a new object in the visual field does set off a preset eye movement towards a target when that new object is presented near the target. The results suggest that similar to visual attention, eye movement behavior is the result of an interaction between goal-driven and stimulus- driven factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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