Paper in Psychological Science
- De Vries, J.P., Hooge, I.T.C., Verstraten, F.A.J. (2014). Saccades Toward the Target Are Planned as Sequences Rather Than as Single Steps. Psychological Science, 25 (1), 215 - 223.
To find a target during visual search, observers often need to make multiple eye movements, which results in a scan path. It is an open question whether the saccade destinations in scan paths are planned ahead. In the two experiments reported here, we investigated this question by focusing on the observer's ability to deviate from potentially planned paths. In the first experiment, the stimulus configuration could change during the initial saccade. We found that the observer's ability to deviate from potentially planned paths crucially depended on whether altered configurations could be processed with sufficient rapidity. In a follow-up experiment, we asked whether planned paths can include more than two saccade destinations. Investigating the influence of potentially planned paths on a secondary task demonstrated that planned paths can include at least three saccade destinations. Together, these experiments provide the first evidence of scan-path planning in visual search.