Experience-based modulation of eye-movement behaviour in dynamic and uncertain visual environments


We examined the influence of experience in tennis on eye-movement behaviour. Participant’s experience with the sport was recorded, along with the number, size, and accuracy of saccadic eye-movements made around 'ball events' (i.e. hits and bounces) while watching the clips of tennis match. Overall, observers with richer experience about tennis relocated their eyes quicker and closer to the upcoming event location as compared with observers with relatively poor-experience of the sport. Moreover, even though repeated exposure to the same clips increased the efficiency of eye-movements in non-experienced observers, the main differences (e.g., saccadic amplitudes) between the two observer groups was preserved. Importantly, the influence of experience was predominantly found in ball events with higher uncertainty (bounces). These results suggest that our gaze control system utilizes knowledge accumulated through past experience to anticipate upcoming events, and this helps especially when the visual event that occurs is relatively unpredictable.

Back to Table of Contents