Eye Movements During Mental Imagery are Not Reenactments of Perception

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


In this study eye movements were recorded for participants in three different conditions. All three conditions consisted of a perception phase and an imagery phase. The imagery phase was similar for all conditions, i.e. participants looked freely at a blank white screen. But the perception phase was different for each condition. In a control condition participants looked freely at a complex picture. In the first experimental condition they looked at another complex picture but maintained fixation at the center of the picture. In the second experimental condition they maintained central fixation while listening to a verbal scene description. The results revealed that despite central fixation during perception in the two central gaze conditions, participants’ eye movements were spread out during imagery and reflected spatial positions and directions of the picture or scene. These results contradict the assumption that eye movements during imagery are reenactments of perception.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Aspects of ICT


  • Eye-movements, Mental imagery, Spatial Cognition, Visual attention, Scene Description
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognition in Flux
EditorsStellan Ohlsson, Richard Catrambone
PublisherProceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Portland, Oregon
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
EventCognitive Science conference - Portland, Oregon
Duration: 0001 Jan 2 → …


ConferenceCognitive Science conference
Period0001/01/02 → …

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