The following is a summary of “Where do people look when walking up and down familiar staircases?,” published in the January 2023 issue of Ophthalmology by Ghiani, et al.

Numerous daily tasks do not have tight sight requirements. For a study, researchers sought to determine how one’s vision changed when one ascended and descended stairs in their own home. 

They reasoned that using a variety of staircases in various settings while keeping participants in the dark about the investigation’s primary focus might result in a description of gaze behavior that is more in line with how we typically use our eyes than when the focus is explicitly and solely on the stairs. The sequence in which individuals fixated on the stages. 

Although it was established that individuals frequently followed the stages in order, they discovered that they frequently returned to the steps on which they had previously focused. Additionally, they frequently missed looking at multiple steps to focus farther ahead. They looked at around half of the steps on average. When going upstairs, they glanced farther ahead than when going down. Though we do note some variances, overall, the results are comparable to those obtained in more confined laboratory settings. One such variation is a propensity to focus on fewer steps. Another is that when descending stairs, participants focused on steps that were closer to them. They also presented some fresh research that could clarify how people’s gazes behave when ascending stairs.