An investigation of feed-forward and feed-back eye movement training in immersive virtual reality

  • David Harris University of Exeter
  • Mark Wilson University of Exeter
  • Martin Jones Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Toby de Burgh Cineon Training
  • Daisy Mundy RINA
  • Tom Arthur University of Exeter
  • Mayowa Olonilua Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Samuel Vine University of Exeter
Keywords: eye movement, eye tracking, VR, skill acquisition, military, defence


The control of eye gaze is critical to the execution of many skills. The observation that task experts in many domains exhibit more efficient control of eye gaze than novices has led to the development of gaze training interventions that teach these behaviours. We aimed to extend this literature by i) examining the relative benefits of feed-forward (observing an expert’s eye movements) versus feed-back (observing your own eye movements) training, and ii) automating this training within virtual reality. Serving personnel from the British Army and Royal Navy were randomised to either feed-forward or feed-back training within a virtual reality simulation of a room search and clearance task. Eye movement metrics – including visual search, saccade direction, and entropy – were recorded to quantify the efficiency of visual search behaviours. Feed-forward and feed-back eye movement training produced distinct learning benefits, but both accelerated the development of efficient gaze behaviours. However, we found no evidence that these more efficient search behaviours transferred to better decision making in the room clearance task. Our results suggest integrating eye movement training principles within virtual reality training simulations may be effective, but further work is needed to understand the learning mechanisms.

How to Cite
Harris, D., Wilson, M., Jones, M., de Burgh, T., Mundy, D., Arthur, T., Olonilua, M., & Vine, S. (2023). An investigation of feed-forward and feed-back eye movement training in immersive virtual reality. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 15(3).
Special thematic issue " Virtual Reality & Eye Tracking"

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