Where is the 7±2 category bottleneck?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well known that observers classifying signals varying along a single sensory dimension can only distinguish 7±2 categories (Miller, 1956). We wondered whether eye movements could escape this apparently cognitive bottleneck. In a dark room, the observer fixated a point of light, which was suddenly displaced horizontally by a random offset, and extinguished 150 ms later. The dual task required the observer to shift gaze to the brief target and to then verbally report the offset in cm. Amplitude of the saccadic eye movement was recorded by a scierai search coil. Preliminary results are surprising. On the one hand, the eye movements of both observers are no more accurate than their verbal reports. On the other hand, only the verbal reports showed the expected increase in precision when the stimulus range was reduced from 10-30 deg to 17.5-22.5 deg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S644
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Where is the 7±2 category bottleneck?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this