Eye movements: The past 25years

Eileen Kowler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

320 Scopus citations


This article reviews the past 25. years of research on eye movements (1986-2011). Emphasis is on three oculomotor behaviors: gaze control, smooth pursuit and saccades, and on their interactions with vision. Focus over the past 25. years has remained on the fundamental and classical questions: What are the mechanisms that keep gaze stable with either stationary or moving targets? How does the motion of the image on the retina affect vision? Where do we look - and why - when performing a complex task? How can the world appear clear and stable despite continual movements of the eyes? The past 25. years of investigation of these questions has seen progress and transformations at all levels due to new approaches (behavioral, neural and theoretical) aimed at studying how eye movements cope with real-world visual and cognitive demands. The work has led to a better understanding of how prediction, learning and attention work with sensory signals to contribute to the effective operation of eye movements in visually rich environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1483
Number of pages27
JournalVision Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


  • Attention
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Expectations
  • Eye movements
  • Eye-head coordination
  • Fixation
  • Gaze
  • Gaze control
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Learning
  • Maintained fixation
  • Microsaccade
  • Motion
  • Oculomotor
  • Oculomotor system
  • Perceptual stability
  • Prediction
  • Reaction time
  • Remapping
  • Saccades
  • Saccadic adaptation
  • Saccadic eye movements
  • Salience map
  • Smooth pursuit
  • Visual acuity
  • Visual search

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