© 2015 Nakashima, Shioiri. People usually see things using frontal viewing, and avoid lateral viewing (or eccentric gaze) where the directions of the head and eyes are largely different. Lateral viewing interferes with attentive visual search performance, probably because the head is directed away from the target and/or because the head and eyes are misaligned. In this study, we examined which of these factors is the primary one for interference by conducting a visual identification experiment where a target was presented in the peripheral visual field. The critical manipulation was the participants' head direction and fixation position: the head was directed to the fixation location, the target position, or the opposite side of the fixation. The performance was highest when the head was directed to the target position even when there was misalignment of the head and eye, suggesting that visual perception can be influenced by both head direction and fixation position.
Nakashima, R., & Shioiri, S. (2015). Facilitation of visual perception in head direction: Visual attention modulation based on head direction. PLoS ONE, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0124367