Eye movements and the vision of Alfred Yarbus by Nicholas Wade

Alfred Lukyanovich Yarbus (1914-1986) is best known for his research on eye movements as described in his seminal book Eye movements and vision. It was published in Russian in 1965 and translated into English two years later. Yarbus is a towering figure in European neuroscience because of his pioneering experiments with stabilised retinal images and also on how the eyes move over patterns. He commenced his research on visual process in the early 1950s. His work was then known to some Western scientists, in part because many of his articles were published in Biofizika, a Russian journal whose first issue appeared in 1955, and which maintained an English-language translated version as Biophysics. Wider recognition was to follow the translation of the book because it opened the eyes of many researchers to the originality of his methods and to the implications of his experiments.