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Target fixation is an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on an observed object that their awareness of hazards or obstacles diminishes. The phenomenon is most commonly associated with scenarios in which the observer is in control of a high-speed vehicle or other mode of transportation, such as race-car drivers, fighter pilots, motorcyclists, mountain bikers, and surfers. In such cases, the observer may fixate so intently on the target that they steer in the direction of their gaze, which is often the ultimate cause of a collision. The term target fixation was used in World War II fighter-bomber pilot training to describe pilots flying into targets during a strafing or bombing run.
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