In nine naïve subjects eye movements were recorded while subjects viewed and visualized four irregularly-checkered diagrams. Scanpaths, defined as repetitive sequences of fixations and saccades were found during visual imagery and viewing. Positions of fixations were distributed according to the spatial arrangement of subfeatures in the diagrams. For a particular imagined diagrammatic picture, eye movements were closely correlated with the eye movements recorded while viewing the same picture. Thus eye movements during imagery are not random but reflect the content of the visualized scene. The question is discussed whether scanpath eye movements play a significant functional role in the process of visual imagery.
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© 1997 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology