Gaze-behaviors of runners in a natural, urban running environment.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

Gaze-tracking techniques have advanced our understanding of visual attention and decision making during walking and athletic events, but little is known about how vision influences behavior during running over common, natural obstacles. This study tested hypotheses about whether runners regularly collect visual information and pre-plan obstacle clearance (feedforward control), make improvisational adjustments (online control), or some combination of both. In this study, the gaze profiles of 5 male and 5 female runners, fitted with a telemetric gaze-tracking device, were used to identify the frequency of fixations on an obstacle during a run. Overall, participants fixated on the obstacle 2.4 times during the run, with the last fixation occurring on average between 40% and 80% of the run, suggesting runners potentially shifted from a feedforward planning strategy to an online control strategy during the late portions of the running trial. A negative association was observed between runner velocity and average number of fixations. Consistent with previous studies on visual strategies used during walking, our results indicate that visual attentiveness is part of an important feedforward strategy for runners allowing them to safely approach an obstacle. Thus, visual obstacle attention is a key factor in the navigation of complex, natural landscapes while running.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cullen, MM; Schmitt, D; Granatosky, MC; Wall, CE; Platt, M; Larsen, R

Published Date

  • January 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 5

Start / End Page

  • e0233158 -

PubMed ID

  • 32428016

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7237013

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0233158


  • eng