On the examination couch: The relationship between the egocentric perspective and the attentional focus

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Determined by anatomical characteristics, the binocular visual field has an elliptical shape. Whereas the focus of attention–that area of the visual field in which objects can be consciously perceived–is significantly smaller, its shape is not necessarily dependent on the same factors. Indeed, it is yet unknown if the maximum extents of the attentional focus’ meridians are dimensionally stable or adapt to the egocentric perspective. In this study, we intended to measure the expansion up to which peripheral stimuli can still be perceived while participants were sitting and lying on the left and on the right body side. Results demonstrate that contrary to the visual field the maximum extents along the attentional focus’ meridians remain stable across different head positions with a greater horizontal than vertical alignment. This indicates that the expansion ratios of the meridians of the attentional focus are not dependent on the egocentric perspective. Rather, they appear stable in space and gravity-based. Findings are discussed in terms of our visual environment and current as well as alternative interpretations are weighed against each other.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of cognitive psychology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 17.02.2019

ID: 3633248

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