The role of eye movement signals in dorsal and ventral processing

John A. Black, Stuart B. Braiman, Chatapuramkrishnan Narayanan, Sethuraman Panchanathan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As human eyes scan an image, each fixation captures high resolution visual information from a small region of that image. The resulting intermittent visual stream is sent along two visual pathways to the visual centers of the brain concurrently with eye movement information. The ventral stream (the what pathway) is associated with object recognition, while the dorsal stream (the where pathway) is associated with spatial perception. This research employs three experiments to compare the relative importance of eye movement information within these two visual pathways. During Experiment 1 participants visually examine (a) outdoor scenery images, and (b) object images, while their fixation sequences are captured. These fixation sequences are then used to generate sequences of foveated of images, in the form of videos. In Experiments 2 and 3 these videos are viewed by another set of participants. In doing so, participants in Experiment 2 and 3 experience the same sequence of foveal stimuli as those in Experiment 1, but might or might not experience the corresponding eye movement signals. The subsequent ability of the Experiment 2 and 3 participants to (a) recognize objects, and (b) locate landmarks in outdoor scenes provides information about the importance of eye movement information in dorsal and ventral processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII
StatePublished - 2007
EventHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 29 2007Feb 1 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Eye tracking
  • Fixation
  • Object recognition
  • Scan path
  • Scene analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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