Gaze patterns in a steering-into-lane task on a straight road: the effect of driving speed, lane, and expertise

Endre Kadar, S. Rogers, Alan Costall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, dynamical systems theory has become popular in describing visual control of locomotion. Nevertheless, traditional geometric cues (e.g., egocentric directions of current heading and target) are still often used. Even some of the Gibsonians seem to have accepted the need for using egocentric target direction in addition to optic flow. Rogers, Kadar, and Costall (2005a, 2005b), however, argued in support of a Gibsonian approach with the inclusion of gaze functions. In the present study, gaze patterns in 3 phases of a steering-into-lane task were analyzed as a function of driving speed, lane condition, and levels of expertise. Although the results could be used to generalize recent theoretical attempts to describe movement trajectory as a function of egocentric and target direction, a Gibsonian framework with active gaze control provides a simpler and more robust model. Accordingly, drivers prefer to minimize steering and direct their gaze straight ahead but this strategy is occasionally disrupted by looking sideways to anticipate future heading or avoid imminent collision. In general, drivers direct their gaze toward surfaces they intend to move toward or surfaces they intend to avoid so that their gaze facilitates information detection from optic. This strategy seems fairly simple but becomes complex when the demands of 2 gaze-control tasks (approach and avoidance) are in conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-122
Number of pages30
JournalEcological Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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