Visual Strategies used during the performance of an obstacle course

  • Ines P. Santos
  • Leonor M. Pereira


Vision is the sense that provides precise information about one’s position in the environment in relation to objects. The visual system is essential to guide people safely when moving around in the environment. The perception that an individual gets from a particular scene of her/his surroundings is accomplished by eye movements.The current study aims to identify differences in visual strategies between 15 women and 15 men within the age range of 18-24 years, who have been given a task to walk through an obstacle course drawn on the laboratory´s floor. They should start and finish at a predefined location. Twelve pylons were used as obstacles to be avoided during the walking.The participants' eye movements were recorded using the Mobile Eye model 1.35.The Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney Test was used for the statistical analysis. Significant differences occurred between men and women, in the duration of fixations: the men spend more time observing the finishing area than women (z=-1.929, p=.054); and in the number of fixations: before starting the task, the men fixate more often the middle phase of the obstacle course (z=-2.085, p=.037). Once they commence, the women fixate more the points outside the obstacle course than the men (z=-2.093, p=.036).

Key Words: Eye Movements, Number of Fixation, Fixation Duration, Visual Search, Visual Attention.

Visual Strategies used during the performance of an obstacle course