Coarse-to-fine eye movement behavior during visual search

Hayward J. Godwin*, Erik D. Reichle, Tamaryn Menneer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


It has previously been argued that, during visual search, eye movement behavior is indicative of an underlying scanning “strategy” that starts on a global, or “coarse,” scale but then progressively focuses to a more local, or “fine,” scale. This conclusion is motivated by the finding that, as a trial progresses, fixation durations tend to increase and saccade amplitudes tend to decrease. In the present study, we replicate these effects but offer an alternative explanation for them—that they emerge from a few stochastic factors that control eye movement behavior. We report the results of a simulation supporting this hypothesis and discuss implications for future models of visual search.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1249
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • eye movement control
  • fixation durations
  • visual search

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