Inspired by Vicker’s (2016) comprehensive review of the quiet eye (QE) in athletics, we review two sets of findings from laboratory studies of typical university students performing visual search tasks. These studies also point to a relationship between longer fixation durations and improved performance, in keeping with the QE in elite athletes. The lab studies also suggest a possible underlying mechanism: longer fixations enable improved predictions of both perceptual and action outcomes. Because these predictions depend on cycles of reentrant visual processing, they benefit from additional processing time. We also caution that under some circumstances longer fixations can be detrimental in visual search, and suggest that this may have analogues in sport.