Eye movements during visual imagery have a functional role and are related to individual differences in spatial imagery ability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


This study investigated eye movements during visual imagery,
under two experimental conditions. Participants
recalled complex pictures from memory while looking at a
blank screen under a condition of free viewing and under a
condition where fixation was maintained in the centre of the
screen. The recall task was to orally describe the picture.
Results showed that, under the condition of free viewing,
eye movements spread out and closely reflected content and
spatial information from the recalled picture. However, the
degree and amplitude of this effect varied among individuals
and had a negative correlation with spatial imagery ability.
Maintaining central fixation during recall affected and
impaired pictorial recall. Descriptions focused significantly
more on global and general aspects of the picture than on
specific elements and spatial relations, when compared with
the free viewing condition. These findings have important
implications for visuo-spatial reasoning, mental models and
spatial cognition in general.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Aspects of ICT
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn B. Kokinov, A. Karmiloff-Smith, & N. J. Nersessian (Eds.), European perspectives on cognitive science: Proceedings of the European conference on cognitive science EuroCogSci 2011. Sofia: New Bulgarian University Press.
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
EventEuropean Conference on Cognitive Science, EuroCog 2011 - New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria
Duration: 2011 May 21 → …


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Cognitive Science, EuroCog 2011
CityNew Bulgarian University, Sofia
Period2011/05/21 → …

Related projects

View all (1)