gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Visual field and traffic: How works peripheral vision?

Meeting Abstract

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Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogFR.07.01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Lachenmayr.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Peripheral vision is very important for visual perception in all fields of traffic. The central visual field is most important because here occurs the major part of information input. The peripheral parts of the visual field have an excellent motion detection and the capability to perceive flicker stimuli. In addition to the central visual field the horizontal parts to the left and right are important, especially for road traffic.

Information input occurs in a continuous sequence of saccadic eye movements which transport critical object into the fovea. After fixation the observer analyses the object and decides whether or not a reaction is necessary. The triggering of a saccadic eye movement can only occur if the critical object is suprathreshold in size, contrast, colour, motion and temporal modulation. This is the reason why perception of peripheral objects needs more time than the perception of objects in the fovea. Without an intact central and peripheral visual field participation in traffic is not possible.