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Clara Cámara, Joan López-Moliner, Eli Brenner, Cristina de la Malla; Looking away from a moving target does not disrupt the way in which the movement toward the target is guided. Journal of Vision 2020;20(5):5. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.5.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
People usually follow a moving object with their gaze if they intend to interact with it. What would happen if they did not? We recorded eye and finger movements while participants moved a cursor toward a moving target. An unpredictable delay in updating the position of the cursor on the basis of that of the invisible finger made it essential to use visual information to guide the finger's ongoing movement. Decreasing the contrast between the cursor and the background from trial to trial made it difficult to see the cursor without looking at it. In separate experiments, either participants were free to hit the target anywhere along its trajectory or they had to move along a specified path. In the two experiments, participants tracked the cursor rather than the target with their gaze on 13% and 32% of the trials, respectively. They hit fewer targets when the contrast was low or a path was imposed. Not looking at the target did not disrupt the visual guidance that was required to deal with the delays that we imposed. Our results suggest that peripheral vision can be used to guide one item to another, irrespective of which item one is looking at.
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