Gaze behaviour during space perception and spatial decision making
- 958 Downloads
A series of four experiments investigating gaze behavior and decision making in the context of wayfinding is reported. Participants were presented with screenshots of choice points taken in large virtual environments. Each screenshot depicted alternative path options. In Experiment 1, participants had to decide between them to find an object hidden in the environment. In Experiment 2, participants were first informed about which path option to take as if following a guided route. Subsequently, they were presented with the same images in random order and had to indicate which path option they chose during initial exposure. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate (1) that participants have a tendency to choose the path option that featured the longer line of sight, and (2) a robust gaze bias towards the eventually chosen path option. In Experiment 2, systematic differences in gaze behavior towards the alternative path options between encoding and decoding were observed. Based on data from Experiments 1 and 2 and two control experiments ensuring that fixation patterns were specific to the spatial tasks, we develop a tentative model of gaze behavior during wayfinding decision making suggesting that particular attention was paid to image areas depicting changes in the local geometry of the environments such as corners, openings, and occlusions. Together, the results suggest that gaze during a wayfinding tasks is directed toward, and can be predicted by, a subset of environmental features and that gaze bias effects are a general phenomenon of visual decision making.
KeywordsDepth Profile Visual Attention Path Option Spatial Task Encode Phase
This work was supported by the Volkswagen Foundation (Tandem project: “Wayfinding Strategies in Behavior and Language”) and the SFB/TR8 “Spatial Cognition”. Special thanks to J. Wendler, J. Henschel, and A. Günther for their help in carrying out the experiment and analyzing the data.
- Allen, G., & Kirasic, K. (2003). Visual attention during route learning: A look at selection and engagement. In Cosit 2003 (pp. 390–398). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
- Armel, C., Beaumel, & A., Rangel, A. (2008). Biasing simple choices by manipulating relative visual attention. Judgment and Decision Making, 3(5), 396–403.Google Scholar
- Bates, D. (2005). Fitting linear mixed models in r. R News, 5, 27–30.Google Scholar
- Frankenstein, J., Büchner, S., Tenbrink, T., & Hölscher, C. (2010) Influence of geometry and objects on local route choices during wayfinding. In Hölscher, C., Shipley, T., Belardinelli, M., Bateman, M., & Newcombe, N. (Eds.), Spatial cognition vii (Vol. 6222, pp. 41–53).Google Scholar
- Henderson, J., Weeks, P., & Hollingworth, A. (1999). Effects of semantic consistency on eye movements during scene viewing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25, 210–228.Google Scholar
- Humphrey, K., & Underwood, G. (2008). Fixation sequences in imagery and in recognition during the processing of pictures of real-world scenes. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 2(2), 1–15.Google Scholar
- Montello, D. R. (2001). Spatial cognition. In International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (pp. 14771–14775). Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Schuchard R., Connell B., & Griffiths P. (2006) An environmental investigation of wayfinding in a nursing home. In Proceedings of the 2006 symposium on eye tracking research & applications, san diego ca (p. 33).Google Scholar
- Siegel, A. W., & White, S. H. (1975). The development of spatial representations of large-scale environments. In H. W. Reese (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 10, pp. 9–55). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Vembar, D., Iyengar, N., Duchowski, A., Clark, K., Hewitt, J., & Pauls, K. (2004). Effect of visual cues on human performance in navigating through a virtual maze. In Eurographics symposium on virtual environments.Google Scholar
- Yarbus, A. (1967). Eye movements and vision. New York: PlenumGoogle Scholar