In total, Yarbus published one monograph, which was translated into English, and 42 papers. All papers were submitted to Russian journals, evidently, to avoid some difficulties with translation and the humiliating procedures that were obligatory in the USSR for sending papers abroad. In particular, the author should get a certificate (signed by several experts) that there was nothing new and important in the manuscript designed for publishing in any foreign journal.

The legacy of Alfred Yarbus by Nicholas Wade

Most papers by Yarbus were quite short since, in Russian journals, a volume was limited to several pages. After the first series of papers on visual illusions at the time of preparing PhD dissertation, all the subsequent papers were devoted to eye movements and their role in vision. Summarizing Yarbus’s achievements in this area, one should outline the following:

  • elaboration of the most precise method for the eye movement recording;
  • promotion of an integrative approach to the role of eye movement in vision;
  • demonstration of the possibility to use eye movement patterns for studying cognitive processes;
  • corroboration of diagnostic significance of the eye movement disturbances;
  • opening a new era in the study of active vision

Though Yarbus’s technique of eye movement recording was not widely adopted because of its complexity and unpleasantness for the subjects, his remarkable findings stimulated further improvement of eye movement recording methods and led to elaboration of fine remote contact-free eye-tracking devices. Using his original approach, Yarbus investigated a broad spectrum of issues concerning visual perception and his laconic and iconic style of presenting various findings and concepts was the basis of his great popularity.

The ages of Alfred Yarbus by Nicholas Wade

In the last few years there have been several international conferences marking the contributions of Yarbus to contemporary visual science. In 2014 a conference was held at Nizhny Novgorod to celebrate the centenary of his birth. In 2017 two symposia were held at conferences making the 50th anniversary of the publication of Eye movements and vision. The first was held at the European Conference on Eye Movements in Wuppertal and the second at the European Conference on Visual Perception held in Berlin. The speakers at the second of these conferences are shown below enveloped by Yarbus himself.

From left to right, Christopher Tyler, Hans Strasburger, Galina Rozhkova, John Mollon, Nicholas Wade and Benjamin Tatler.

From left to right, Christopher Tyler, Hans Strasburger, Galina Rozhkova, John Mollon, Nicholas Wade and Benjamin Tatler.