December 2001
Volume 1, Issue 3
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2001
Memory across eye-movements: 1/f Dynamic in visual search
Author Affiliations
  • D. J. Aks
    UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI, USA
  • G. Zelinsky
    SUNY, Stonybrook, NY, USA
  • J. C. Sprott
    UW-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
Journal of Vision December 2001, Vol.1, 230. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      D. J. Aks, G. Zelinsky, J. C. Sprott; Memory across eye-movements: 1/f Dynamic in visual search. Journal of Vision 2001;1(3):230. doi:

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Abstract: The ubiquity of apparently random behavior in visual search (e.g., Horowitz & Wolfe, 1998) has led to our proposal that the human oculomotor system has subtle deterministic properties that underlie its complex behavior (Aks, Zelinsky & Sprott, in press). We report the results of one subject's performance in a challenging search task in which 10,215 fixations were accumulated. A number of statistical and spectral tests revealed both fractal and 1/f structure. First, scaling properties emerged in differences across eye positions and their relative dispersion (SD/M)-both decreasing over time. Fractal microstructure also emerged in an Iterated Function Systems test and delay plot. Power spectra obtained from the Fourier analysis of fixations produced brown (1/f^2) noise and the spectra of differences across eye positions showed 1/f (pink) noise. Thus, while the sequence of absolute eye positions resembles a random walk, the differences in fixations reflect a longer-term dynamic of 1/f pink noise. These results suggest that memory across eye-movements may serve to facilitate our ability to select out useful information from the environment. The 1/f patterns in relative eye positions together with models of complex systems (e.g., Bak, Tang & Wiesenfeld, 1987) suggest that our oculomotor system may produce a complex and self-organizing search pattern providing maximum coverage with minimal effort.

AksD. J.ZelinskyG.SprottJ. C.(2002). Memory Across Eye-Movements: 1/f Dynamic in Visual Search. Nonlinear dynamics, Psychology and Life Sciences, 6 (1).

BakP.TangC.WiesenfeldK.(1987). Self-organized criticality: An explanation of 1/f noise. Physical Review Letters, 59, 381–384.

HorowitzT.S.WolfeJ. M.(1998). Visual Search has no memory. Nature, 357, 575–577.

Aks, D.J., Zelinsky, G., Sprott, J.C.(2001). Memory across eye-movements: 1/f Dynamic in visual search [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 1( 3): 230, 230a,, doi:10.1167/1.3.230. [CrossRef]

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.