A "visual" explanation of facial vision

H. Ono*, A. Fay, S. E. Tarbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The existence of facial vision has been doubted, perhaps because of its identification with dermo-optical perception. To determine whether more credence should be granted to this alleged phenomenon, we studied both blind and sighted people. Ninety-two percent of the partially blind people reported experiencing facial vision, but only 30% of the totally blind people reported the experience. Eighty-five percent of the sighted people also reported experiencing facial vision when a shadow moved across their eyelids. In response to a questionnaire asking about subjective visual experiences, 43% of the sighted people reported seeing as though through a window on their face. The boundaries of two monocular fields mapped by apparent locations of pressure phosphenes agreed with the boundary of the area in which facial vision is experienced. The findings indicate that facial vision can be experienced by both blind and sighted persons and that it can be explained in part by the principles of visual direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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