A new report published in Current Biology finds that human eye movements quickly adapt when something obstructs vision.
Researchers studied six young adults with normal sight, simulating a loss of foveal vision in the participants. Participants were then asked to complete visual-search tasks with this obstruction. After working on the task in three hours, participants quickly and spontaneously adjusted their eye movements.
To compensate, participants adapted a consistent point on in their peripheral vision that served as their new point of gaze. Once this new point of gaze was established, it was retained for weeks afterwards--being activated when participant's foveal vision was blocked. This process may be able to help macular degeneration patients cope with vision loss.