About the global effect and the critical role of retinal eccentricity: Implications for eye movements in reading

Françoise Vitu


In the present paper, I review evidence for the universality of the global effect, i.e. the general tendency to move the eyes towards the centre of gravity of the peripheral configu-ration, and show that the effect is strongly constrained by the retinal location of the stimuli. First, stimuli that are displayed in a central foveal region of a 1-1.5° radius fail to deviate the eyes in a centre-of-gravity manner; this is referred to as the foveal dead zone. Second, the stimuli that are too eccentric relative to the saccade target and/or the main stimulation site are filtered out. These limitations reflect physiological constraints and the dynamics of the patterns of activity in a visual saliency map. They form the basis for a low-level centre-of-gravity type account of eye guidance in natural perceptual tasks such as reading.


saccades; global effect; remote distractor effect; visual saliency; launch site; reading

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.16910/jemr.2.3.6


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