Gaze strategies in peripheral motion detection: On the superiority of anchoring over tracking

Vater, Christian; Klostermann, André; Hossner, Ernst-Joachim (June 2016). Gaze strategies in peripheral motion detection: On the superiority of anchoring over tracking. Journal of sport & exercise psychology, 38(Suppl.), p. 113. Human Kinetics Publishers

In team sports, players either use fixations or smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM) to process information. It is generally accepted that anchoring gaze helps to optimally use peripheral vision while it is completely unknown whether the same is true for SPEM. Therefore, peripheral motion change detection was examined by contrasting a fixation condition with a SPEM condition. For this purpose, 13 participants were confronted with a visual display consisting of 15 white squares and 1 red square and instructed to follow the red square with their eyes and to press a button as soon as a white square begins to move. White square movements of 500 ms duration occurred when the red square either stood still (fixation condition) or was moving in a circular manner with 6 "/s (pursuit condition). The to-be-detected white square movements varied in eccentricity (4", 8", 16") and speed (1"/s, 2"/s, 4"/s). A Vicon-integrated eye-tracking system was used for controlling gaze behavior. Response times (ms) and missed detections (%) were measured as dependent variables. Results show that peripheral motion changes are detected faster in the fixation compared with the SPEM condition (401 ms vs. 809 ms) and that response times increase as a function of eccentricity in the SPEM condition only (4": 570 ms; 8": 737 ms; 16": 1121 ms). Moreover, 36% of the motion changes were missed at 16" eccentricity in the SPEM condition (fixation condition and 4"/ 8" SPEM condition: <
2% missed events). In a follow-up experiment, the same results were obtained when participants had to follow a virtual center of 4 red squares rather than a red square showing that SPEM as such and not foveal processing caused the eccentricity effects. In sum, it could be shown that SPEM impair the ability to detect peripheral motion changes.
Thus, anchoring gaze is advisable if peripheral changes (e.g. movements of players) have to be detected and fast reactions are required.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Movement and Exercise Science

UniBE Contributor:

Vater, Christian, Klostermann, André, Hossner, Ernst-Joachim


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Human Kinetics Publishers




Christian Vater

Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2016 08:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:58


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