Examining eye movements in visual search through clusters of objects in a circular array

Carrick C. Williams*, Alexander Pollatsek, Erik D. Reichle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Participants were asked to search for a complete O in an array consisting of eight clusters of four Landolt Cs (i.e., Os with a gap) arranged in a ring. The size of the gap in the Cs varied from cluster to cluster but was held constant within a cluster. The manual response time data were consistent with a serial self-terminating search. More importantly, eye movement data supported a serial processing model as (1) clusters were fixated serially (either clockwise or counterclockwise) on most trials and (2) fixation times on a cluster reflected processing time on that cluster and were unaffected by the gap size of either the prior or succeeding cluster. Furthermore, the pattern of fixation times on a cluster was similar to the pattern of response times in a secondary task where a single cluster was presented at fixation. These data extend our previous findings in which search was through a linear sequence of clusters, and indicate that a serial search pattern through clusters of these kinds of objects is not confined to reading-like linear arrays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • clusters
  • eye movements
  • visual search


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