Professionally edited videos entail frequent editorial cuts – that is, abrupt image changes from one frame to another. The impact of these cuts on human eye movements is currently not well understood. In the present eye-tracking study, we experimentally gauged the degree to which color and visual continuity contributed to viewers’ eye movements following cinematic cuts. In our experiment, viewers were presented with two edited action sports movies on the same screen but they were instructed to watch and keep their gaze on only one of these movies. Crucially, the movies were frequently interrupted and continued after a short break either at the same or at switched locations. Hence, viewers needed to rapidly recognize the continuation of the relevant movie and re-orient their gaze toward it. Properties of saccadic eye movements following each interruption probed the recognition of the relevant movie after a cut. Two key findings were that (i) memory co-determines attention after cuts in edited videos, resulting in faster re-orientation toward scene continuations when visual continuity across the interruption is high than when it is low, and (ii) color contributes to the guidance of attention after cuts, but its benefit largely rests upon enhanced discrimination of relevant from irrelevant visual information rather than memory. Results are discussed with regard to previous research on eye movements in movies and recognition processes. Possible future directions of research are outlined.
Edited videos Continuity Color Attention Eye movements Memory
The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for their excellent and helpful feedback on a previous version of this manuscript, as well as Blerim Zeqiri and Stefan Kandioller for assistance with data collection. This research was funded by a grant from the Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds (WWTF, Vienna Science and Technology Fund), no. CS 11–009 to Ulrich Ansorge, Shelley Buchinger, and Otmar Scherzer.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. All research protocols complied with the Declaration of Helsinki and APA ethical standards.
Ansorge U, Buchinger S, Valuch C, Patrone AR, Scherzer O (2014) Visual attention in edited dynamical images. SIGMAP: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Signal Processing and Multimedia Applications 2014:198–205. doi: 10.5220/0005101901980205
Böhme M, Dorr M, Krause C, Martinetz T, Barth E (2006) Eye movement predictions on natural videos. Neurocomputing 69(16):1996–2004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bordwell D, Thompson K (2001) Film art: an introduction. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
Brady TF, Konkle T, Alvarez GA, Oliva A (2008) Visual long-term memory has a massive storage capacity for object details. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(38):14325–14329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valuch C, Ansorge U, Buchinger S, Patrone AR, Scherzer O (2014) The effect of cinematic cuts on human attention. TVX ‘14: Proceedings of the ACM Interantional Conference on Interactive Experiences for TV and Online Video 2014:119–122. doi: 10.1145/2602299.2602307
Valuch C, Becker SI, Ansorge U (2013) Priming of fixations during recognition of natural scenes. J Vis 13(3):3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wichmann FA, Sharpe LT, Gegenfurtner KR (2002) The contributions of color to recognition memory for natural scenes. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 28(3):509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wolfe JM, Horowitz TS (2004) What attributes guide the deployment of visual attention and how do they do it? Nat Rev Neurosci 5(6):495–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar