Advertisement

Psychological Research

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 601–608 | Cite as

The effect of spatial frequency content on parameters of eye movements

  • Marina T. GronerEmail author
  • Rudolf Groner
  • Adrian von Mühlenen
Original Article

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to examine the influence of the spatial frequency content of natural images on saccadic size and fixation duration. In the first experiment 10 pictures of natural textures were low-pass filtered (0.04–0.76 cycles/deg) and high-pass filtered (1.91–19.56 cycles/deg) and presented with the unfiltered originals in random order, each for 10 s, to 18 participants, with the instruction to inspect them in order to find a suitable name. The participants’ eye movements were recorded. It was found that low-pass filtered images resulted in larger saccadic amplitudes compared with high-pass filtered images. A second experiment was conducted with natural stimuli selected for different power spectra which supported the results outlined above. In general, low-spatial frequencies elicit larger saccades associated with shorter fixation durations whereas high-spatial frequencies elicit smaller saccades with longer fixation durations.

Keywords

Spatial Frequency Fixation Duration High Spatial Frequency Natural Texture Inspection Interval 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgment

We gratefully remember the many discussions with Dieter Heller in which he added his perspective, often resulting in a deeper understanding of the visual and cognitive processes under study. After his untimely death, we miss him strongly as a unique friend and colleague. This article is dedicated to his memory. This research was supported by grants of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to: Marina Groner, Department of Psychology, University of Bern, CH-3000 Bern 9, Switzerland (e-mail: marina.groner@psy.unibe.ch).

References

  1. Andrews, T. J., & Coppola, D. M. (1999). Idiosyncratic characteristics of saccadic eye movements when viewing different visual environments. Vision Research, 39, 2947–2953.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, W. R., & Jürgens, R. (1979). An analysis of the saccadic eye movement system by means of double step stimuli. Vision Research, 19, 967–983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Breitmeyer, B. G. (1975). Simple reaction time as a measure of the temporal response properties of the transient and sustained channels. Vision Research, 15, 1411–1412.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buswell, G. (1935). How people look at pictures. A study of the psychology of perception in art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Deubel, H., & Elsner, T. (1986). Threshold perception and saccadic eye movements. Biological Cybernetics, 54, 351–358.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Di Lollo, V., & Woods, E. (1981). Duration of visible persistence in relation to range of spatial frequencies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 7, 754–769.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Findlay, J. M. (1982). Global processing for saccadic eye movements. Vision Research, 22, 1033–1045.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Groner, R., & Menz C. (1985) The effects of stimulus characteristics, task requirements and individual differences on scanning patterns. In R. Groner, G. W. McConkie & C. Menz (Eds.), Eye movements and human information processing (pp. 239–250). Amsterdam: North Holland.Google Scholar
  9. Heller, D., & Müller, H. (1983). On the relationship between saccadic size and fixation duration in reading. In R. Groner, C. Menz, D. F. Fisher & R. A. Monty (Eds.), Eye movements and psychological functions: International views (pp. 287–302). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Henderson, J. M., & Hollingworth, A. (1998). Eye movements during scene viewing: An overview. In G. Underwood (Ed.), Eye guidance in reading and scene perception (pp. 269–293). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Henderson, J. M., Weeks, P. A., Jr., & Hollingworth, A. (1999). Effects of semantic consistency on eye movements during scene viewing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25, 210–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Itti, L., & Koch, C. (2000). A saliency-based search mechanism for overt and covert shifts of visual attention. Vision Research, 40, 1489–1506.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krieger, G., Rentschler, I., Hauske, G., Schill, K., & Zetzsche, C. (2000). Object and scene analysis by saccadic eye-movements: An investigation with higher-order statistics. Spatial Vision, 13, 201–214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Land, M. F., & Hayhoe, M. (2001). In what ways do eye movements contribute to everyday activities? Vision Research, 41, 3559–3565.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lupp, U., Hauske, G., & Wolf, W. (1976). Perceptual latencies to sinusoidal gratings. Vision Research, 16, 969–972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mannan, S., Ruddock, K. H., & Wooding, D. S. (1995). Automatic control of saccadic eye-movements made in visual inspection of briefly presented 2-D images. Spatial Vision, 9, 363–385.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mannan, S. K., Ruddock, K. H., & Wooding, D. S. (1996). The relationship between the locations of spatial features and those of fixations made during visual examination of briefly presented images. Spatial Vision, 10, 165–188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mannan, S. K., Ruddock, K. H., & Wooding, D. S. (1997). Fixation patterns made during brief examination of two-dimensional images. Perception, 26, 1059–1072.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Menz, C., & Groner, R. (1986) Saccadic programming with multiple targets under different task conditions. In K. O’Regan & A. Levy-Schoen (Eds.), Eye movements: From physiology to cognition (pp. 95–103). Amsterdam: Elsevier/North-Holland.Google Scholar
  20. Parkhurst, D. J., & Niebur, E. (2003). Scene content selected by active vision. Spatial Vision, 16, 125–154.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Parkhurst, D., Law, K., & Niebur, E. (2002). Modeling the role of salience in the allocation of overt visual attention. Vision Research, 42, 107–123.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Peterzell, D. H., & Teller, D. Y. (1996). Individual differences in contrast sensitivity functions: The lowest spatial frequency channels. Vision Research, 36, 3077–3085.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Salthouse, T. A., & Ellis, C. L. (1980). Determinants of eye-fixation duration. American Journal of Psychology, 93, 207–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tatler, B. W., Baddeley, R. J., & Gilchrist, I. D. (2005). Visual correlates of fixation selection: Effects of scale and time. Vision Research, 45, 643–659.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Turano, K. A., Geruschat, D. R., & Baker, F. H. (2003). Oculomotor strategies for the direction of gaze tested with a real-world activity. Vision Research, 43, 333–346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Walther-Müller, P. U. (1993). Zur Messung von Augenbewegungen: Beschreibung der Software zur Analyse von Augenbewegungsdaten. Research Report 1993-3, Department of Psychology, University of Bern.Google Scholar
  27. Wilson, H. R., & Bergen, J. R. (1979). A four mechanism model for threshold spatial vision. Vision Research, 19, 19–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yarbus, L. (1967). Eye movements and vision. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina T. Groner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rudolf Groner
    • 2
  • Adrian von Mühlenen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BernBern 9Switzerland
  2. 2.Institute for Research in Open-, Distance-, and eLearningDistance University of SwitzerlandBrigSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of WarwickCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations