Looking Precisely at Your Fingertip Requires Visual Guidance of Gaze

Irene A. Kuling (Corresponding author), Lotte Laan, Erik van Lopik, Jeroen B.J. Smeets, Eli Brenner

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People often look at objects that they are holding in their hands. It is therefore reasonable to expect them to be able to direct their gaze precisely with respect to their fingers. However, we know that people make reproducible idiosyncratic errors of up to a few centimetres when they try to align a visible cursor to their own finger hidden below a surface. To find out whether they also make idiosyncratic errors when they try to look at their finger, we asked participants to hold their finger in front of their head in the dark, and look at it. Participants made idiosyncratic errors of a similar magnitude to those previously found when matching a visual cursor to their hidden finger. This shows that proprioceptive position sense of finger and gaze are not aligned, suggesting that people rely on vision to guide their gaze to their own finger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1259
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • eye movements
  • eye–hand coordination
  • gaze
  • perceptual biases
  • proprioception
  • sensory matching
  • visual localization


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