Further to the right: Viewing distance modulates attentional asymmetries ('pseudoneglect') during visual exploration

Hartmann, Matthias; Sommer, Nils R.; Diana, Lorenzo; Müri, René M.; Eberhard-Moscicka, Aleksandra K. (2019). Further to the right: Viewing distance modulates attentional asymmetries ('pseudoneglect') during visual exploration. Brain and cognition, 129, pp. 40-48. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.bandc.2018.11.008

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Previous studies showed that the small leftward bias found in healthy humans' spatial judgments of lines ("pseudoneglect") shifts to the right with increasing distance between stimuli and observer. In this study, we investigated whether such a modulation of attentional asymmetry can also be observed in free visual exploration. Participants freely explored photographs of naturalistic scenes for 7s in near (60cm) and far (140cm) space. After an initial leftward bias, followed by a compensatory rightward bias, gaze positions were significantly more leftward in near compared to far space (around 4s from scene onset). Our results show that the modulation of attentional asymmetries by viewing distance previously reported for spatial judgments generalizes to free visual exploration, and we revealed the temporal dynamics of these asymmetries by fine-grained eye movement analysis. In contrast, an effect of viewing distance was reduced or absent when eye movements are under strong top-down control, as in systematic serial visual search (Sensitive Negelct Test). Finally, there was no effect of viewing distance in the landmark task (as also reported in a minority of other studies), suggesting that this effect may depend on specific, yet unidentified task characteristics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Maalouli-Hartmann, Matthias, Sommer, Nils Robin, Diana, Lorenzo, Müri, René Martin, Eberhard-Moscicka, Aleksandra Katarzyna


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Elsevier Science




Panagiota Milona

Date Deposited:

21 Feb 2019 17:30

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Attentional asymmetry Eye movements Landmark task Pseudoneglect Sensitive Neglect Task Visual exploration





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