We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You can stare at the central dot and not experience the effect as long as you continue to blink at your normal rate. To induce a refresh, do not suspend your normal pattern of blinking. All the same, when I'm driving on a highway, I keep the "little gray cells" active by repeatedly scanning from one side-view mirror to the other to the rear view, etc. This is not so much to overcome a visual effect from staring intently in one direction as to keep my brain from shutting down from a lack of stimulus. Of course, I could do indefinite integrals or incomplete gamma functions in my head to accomplish the same effect, but writing the answers down would become a bit of a distraction.
As part of my employment training in the trucking industry many years ago, we had to learn 5 driving habits. The 1st three were: Aim high in steering; Get the big picture; Keep your eyes moving. Still use them today.
I think this same effect works with small stationary objects and very small moving objects. Satellites for example can be initially picked out from stationary stars by looking at one spot in the sky to pick out a moving object, but if the satellite is very small or faint it can't be followed, you must look just aside of it and then it is visible. For very small stationary objects, fine gauges and instruments for example it is difficult to accurately read a fine needle/dial, even with a mirror backing if you look directly at it but if you look just to one side it becomes clear.
That's because when you look askance, you are making use of the rod photoreceptors in the retina of your eye, which are more sensitive for night vision than are your eye's cone photoreceptors. In bright light, we use the cones to see sharp details and for color vision. The fovea directly at the back of the eye is cone-rich but rod-free. Looking off to the side brings the low-light level sensitive rods into play.
Yup, that was one of the primary advisories of my flight instructor concerning good landings, almost 30 years ago. "Continually sweep the runway down and up with your vision, on final approach". Worked for me.
Target Fixation can be deadly. The Navy (and I am sure other military flight operations) have a sad history of pilots fixating on a target to make sure they hit it and then flying themselves directly into the ground.
It happens in the boating world too. A lot of pier accidents and open water accidents occur because of target fixation - in particular with boats on a vector to your own. Tug collisions when warping ships in and out of docks because operators are fixated on keeping their tug in the right spot are common.
There is also an associated issue and that is situational awareness. A good example of target fixation on the water. The investigation placed co-equal blame for this accident on the USCG and private operator. Rightfully so.
Years ago I took a day-long driver training course with fellow employees, as we would be having access to company cars. What stuck with me from that day of driving with the instructor was the instruction to always keep your eyes moving. It was good advice, which I follow.