How aware are we of our own eye movements?

Aoife Mahon, Alasdair Clarke, Alex Irvine, Amelia Rebecca Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


People can identify their own fixations compared to those of someone else but only slightly above chance (Foulsham and Kingstone, 2013). This conclusion is based on fixations recorded during a scene memory task, so people may remember fixated objects as opposed to eye movements. In oculomotor capture (Theeuwes et al 1998), in contrast, it has been claimed that people are unaware of their own erroneous saccades towards distractors. This claim is based on general statements of remembered accuracy made after the experiment. Here we asked whether people could accurately report on their own eye movements using three different approaches: first, we asked participants after a visual search experiment to discriminate their own eye movements from those of someone else searching the same image. Second, we asked participants in an oculomotor capture experiment to report after each trial whether they looked directly at the target. Third, we replayed an animation of saccades after each trial in a double-step saccade experiment and asked participants if they were viewing their own or someone else’s behaviour. The results across all three studies suggest that observers are sensitive to what they looked at, but have little knowledge about their own eyemovements per se.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3T2A004
Pages (from-to)272
Number of pages1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
Event38th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) 2015 Liverpool - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Aug 201523 Aug 2015


  • Eye Movements
  • awareness
  • visual search
  • double step
  • oculomotor capture
  • memory task


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