The Dispersion of Eye Movements During Visual Imagery is Related to Individual Differences in Spatial Imagery Ability

Abstract

This study explored individual differences in eye movements during visual imagery. Eye movements were recorded for participants who recalled a picture from memory while looking at a blank screen. All participants were tested for working memory capacity and the OSIVQ (Blazhenkova & Kozhevnikov, 2009) was used as an assessment for individual differences in object imagery, spatial imagery and verbal cognitive style. Results revealed a negative correlation between the overall spatial dispersion of eye movements and the spatial imagery score. Consequently, those with a lower spatial imagery score employed a larger degree of eye movements to blank spaces than those with a higher spatial imagery score. No relationship was found between eye movements and the other aspects. We propose that weaker spatial imagery ability increases the “need” to execute eye movements during recall and discuss this finding in relation to the current literature on eye movements to ‘nothing’.


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