Looking and Acting: Vision and eye movements in natural behaviour

Michael Land, Benjamin Tatler

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    256 Citations (Scopus)


    The cooperative action of different regions of human brains gives an amazing capacity to perform activities as diverse as playing the piano and hitting a tennis ball. Somehow, without conscious effort, eyes find the information that is needed to operate successfully in this world. The development of head-mounted eye trackers over recent years has made it possible to record where we look during different active tasks, and so work out what information the eyes supply to the brain systems that control limbs. The strategies that the eye movement system uses in the initiation and guidance of action are explored. This book examines a wide range of visually guided behaviour, from sedentary tasks like reading and drawing, to dynamic activities such as driving and playing cricket. A central theme is that the eye movement system has its own knowledge about where to find the most appropriate information for guiding action - information not usually available to conscious scrutiny. Thus, each type of action has its own specific repertoire of linked eye movements, acquired in parallel with the motor skills themselves. Starting with a brief background to eye movement studies, the book then reviews a range of observations and analyses of different activities. It ends with discussions of the nature of visual representation, the neurophysiology of the systems involved, and the roles of attention and learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages288
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191693878
    ISBN (Print)9780198570943
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Action
    • Brain systems
    • Eye movement system
    • Eye movements
    • Motor skills
    • Neurophysiology
    • Visual representation
    • Visually-guided behaviour

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Psychology


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