June 2004
Volume 4, Issue 8
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2004
Foraging for targets with saccades
Author Affiliations
  • Albert V. Berg
    Functional Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology, University Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Jaap A. Beintema
    Functional Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology, University Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Bjorn N. Vlaskamp
    Psychonomy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Ignace T. Hooge
    Psychonomy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Editha M. Loon
    School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Journal of Vision August 2004, Vol.4, 163. doi:10.1167/4.8.163
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      Albert V. Berg, Jaap A. Beintema, Bjorn N. Vlaskamp, Ignace T. Hooge, Editha M. Loon; Foraging for targets with saccades. Journal of Vision 2004;4(8):163. doi: 10.1167/4.8.163.

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Abstract

Experienced players exploit their knowledge to scan chess games more efficiently with eye movements than novice observers (Reingold et al. 2001). In contrast, finding a friend's face in the crowd or searching for a dropped ring on a pebbled road may be frustrating for novice and experienced searchers alike. For such crowded scenes, the brain should attempt to optimize search in a statistical sense, because the peripheral visual information is too limited to guide search. We report here saccadic amplitude distributions for one-dimensional and two-dimensional search tasks. In two-dimensional crowded displays strings of similarly directed saccades appear. Those strings break down the search into piecewise one-dimensional domains. The distribution of lengths of the one-dimensional domains follows an inverse power law (Levy distribution) with an exponent in the range between −1 and −2 (Viswanathan et al, 1999). Foraging animals that can detect food sources only in their immediate vicinity optimize search by such a distribution for their flight lengths. Humans appear to use a ‘saccadic foraging’ strategy to optimize search in crowded displays.

van den  Berg, A. V., Beintema, J. A., Vlaskamp, B. N., Hooge, I. T., van  Loon, E. M.(2004). Foraging for targets with saccades [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 4( 8): 163, 163a, http://journalofvision.org/4/8/163/, doi:10.1167/4.8.163. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 This work was supported by NWO-ALW grant#809.37.003
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