Psychological Research

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 601–608 | Cite as

The effect of spatial frequency content on parameters of eye movements

  • Marina T. GronerEmail author
  • Rudolf Groner
  • Adrian von Mühlenen
Original Article


Two experiments were conducted to examine the influence of the spatial frequency content of natural images on saccadic size and fixation duration. In the first experiment 10 pictures of natural textures were low-pass filtered (0.04–0.76 cycles/deg) and high-pass filtered (1.91–19.56 cycles/deg) and presented with the unfiltered originals in random order, each for 10 s, to 18 participants, with the instruction to inspect them in order to find a suitable name. The participants’ eye movements were recorded. It was found that low-pass filtered images resulted in larger saccadic amplitudes compared with high-pass filtered images. A second experiment was conducted with natural stimuli selected for different power spectra which supported the results outlined above. In general, low-spatial frequencies elicit larger saccades associated with shorter fixation durations whereas high-spatial frequencies elicit smaller saccades with longer fixation durations.


Spatial Frequency Fixation Duration High Spatial Frequency Natural Texture Inspection Interval 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully remember the many discussions with Dieter Heller in which he added his perspective, often resulting in a deeper understanding of the visual and cognitive processes under study. After his untimely death, we miss him strongly as a unique friend and colleague. This article is dedicated to his memory. This research was supported by grants of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to: Marina Groner, Department of Psychology, University of Bern, CH-3000 Bern 9, Switzerland (e-mail:


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina T. Groner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rudolf Groner
    • 2
  • Adrian von Mühlenen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BernBern 9Switzerland
  2. 2.Institute for Research in Open-, Distance-, and eLearningDistance University of SwitzerlandBrigSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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