On Senders’s models of visual sampling behavior

Y. B. Eisma, P. A. Hancock, J. C.F. de Winter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: We review the sampling models described in John Senders’s doctoral thesis on “visual sampling processes” via a ready and accessible exposition. Background: John Senders left a significant imprint on human factors/ergonomics (HF/E). Here, we focus on one preeminent aspect of his career, namely visual attention. Methods: We present, clarify, and expand the models in his thesis through computer simulation and associated visual illustrations. Results: One of the key findings of Senders’s work on visual sampling concerns the linear relationship between signal bandwidth and visual sampling rate. The models that are used to describe this relationship are the periodic sampling model (PSM), the random constrained sampling model (RCM), and the conditional sampling model (CSM). A recent replication study that used results from modern eye-tracking equipment showed that Senders’s original findings are manifestly replicable. Conclusions: Senders’s insights and findings withstand the test of time and his models continue to be both relevant and useful to the present and promise continued impact in the future. Application: The present paper is directed to stimulate a broad spectrum of researchers and practitioners in HF/E and beyond to use these important and insightful models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-736
JournalHuman Factors
Volume65 (2023)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • bandwidth
  • computer simulation
  • replication
  • sampling
  • visual attention

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