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Jatheesh Srikantharajah, Colin Ellard; How central and peripheral vision influence focal and ambient processing during scene viewing. Journal of Vision 2022;22(12):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.12.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Central and peripheral vision carry out different functions during scene processing. The ambient mode of visual processing is more likely to involve peripheral visual processes, whereas the focal mode of visual processing is more likely to involve central visual processes. Although the ambient mode is responsible for navigating space and comprehending scene layout, the focal mode gathers detailed information as central vision is oriented to salient areas of the visual field. Previous work suggests that during the time course of scene viewing, there is a transition from ambient processing during the first few seconds to focal processing during later time intervals, characterized by longer fixations and shorter saccades. In this study, we identify the influence of central and peripheral vision on changes in eye movements and the transition from ambient to focal processing during the time course of scene processing. Using a gaze-contingent protocol, we restricted the visual field to central or peripheral vision while participants freely viewed scenes for 20 seconds. Results indicated that fixation durations are shorter when vision is restricted to central vision compared to normal vision. During late visual processing, fixations in peripheral vision were longer than those in central vision. We show that a transition from more ambient to more focal processing during scene viewing will occur even when vision is restricted to only central vision or peripheral vision.
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