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Ocular Motility and Cognitive Process NIH

Weiner, Susan L.; Ehrlichman, Howard
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Cognitive Processes, Eye Movements


The claim has frequently been made that Ss produce scanning eye movements when experiencing visual imagery. Many investigators have concluded therefore that when ocular motility (as opposed to ocular quiescence) occurs, Ss are engaging in visual imagery. This hypothesis was tested by counting the eye movements Ss produced when required to answer two sets of questions presumed to vary in their imagery evoking properties, one requiring "verbal-conceptual" processing properties and one requiring "visuo'spatial" processing. Contrary to expectation, significantly fewer eye movements per second occurred when Ss answered "spatial" as opposed to "verbal" questions. This difference was discussed in terms of more general accounts of ocualarmotility than that proposed by the imagery-scanning notion. (26pp.)

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