Advertisement

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 566–573 | Cite as

Eye movements during scene viewing: Evidence for mixed control of fixation durations

  • John M. Henderson
  • Graham L. Pierce
Brief Reports

Abstract

Recent behavioral and computational research on eye movement control during scene viewing has focused on where the eyes move. However, fixations also differ in their durations, and when the eyes move may be another important indicator of perceptual and cognitive activity. Here we used a scene onset delay paradigm to investigate the degree to which individual fixation durations are under direct moment-to-moment control of the viewer’s current visual scene. During saccades just prior to critical fixations, the scene was removed from view so that when the eyes landed, no scene was present. Following a manipulated delay period, the scene was restored to view. We found that one population of fixations was under the direct control of the current scene, increasing in duration as delay increased. A second population of fixations was relatively constant across delay. The pattern of data did not change whether delay duration was random or blocked, suggesting that the effects were not under the strategic control of the viewer. The results support a mixed control model in which the durations of some fixations proceed regardless of scene presence, whereas others are under the direct moment-to-moment control of ongoing scene analysis.

Keywords

Visual Search Direct Control Fixation Duration Onset Delay Critical Fixation 
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.

References

  1. Baddeley, R. J., & Tatler, B. W. (2006). High frequency edges (but not contrast) predict where we fixate: A Bayesian system identification analysis. Vision Research, 46, 2824–2833.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Engbert, R., Nuthmann, A., Richter, E. M., & Kliegl, R. (2005). SWIFT: A dynamical model of saccade generation during reading. Psychological Review, 112, 777–813.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Findlay, J. M., & Walker, R. (1999). A model of saccade generation based on parallel processing and competitive inhibition. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 22, 661–721.Google Scholar
  4. Henderson, J. M. (2003). Human gaze control during real-world scene perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 498–504.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 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). Oxford: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Henderson, J. M., & Hollingworth, A. (1999). High-level scene perception. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 243–271.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Henderson, J. M., & Hollingworth, A. (2003). Eye movements and visual memory: Detecting changes to saccade targets in scenes. Perception & Psychophysics, 65, 58–71.Google Scholar
  8. 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 & Performance, 25, 210–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hollingworth, A., Williams, C. C., & Henderson, J. M. (2001). To see and remember: Visually specific information is retained in memory from previously attended objects in natural scenes. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 8, 761–768.Google Scholar
  10. Hooge, I. T. C., & Erkelens, C. J. (1998). Adjustment of fixation duration in visual search. Vision Research, 38, 1295–1302.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hooge, I. T. C., Vlaskamp, B. N. S., & Over, E. A. B. (2007). Saccadic search: On the duration of a fixation. In R. G. P. van Gompel, M. H. Fischer, W. S. Murray, & R. L. Hill (Eds.), Eye movement research: Insights into mind and brain (pp. 581–595) Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Morrison, R. E. (1984). Manipulation of stimulus onset delay in reading: Evidence for parallel programming of saccades. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 10, 667–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Parkhurst, D. J., & Niebur, E. (2003). Scene content selected by active vision. Spatial Vision, 16, 125–154.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Rayner, K. (1998). Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 372–422.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Rayner, K., & Pollatsek, A. (1981). Eye movement control during reading: Evidence for direct control. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 33A, 351–373.Google Scholar
  17. Reingold, E. M., & Stampe, D. M. (2002). Saccadic inhibition in voluntary and reflexive saccades. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14, 371–388.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Shiori, S. (1993). Postsaccadic processing of the retinal image during picture scanning. Perception & Psychophysics, 53, 305–314.Google Scholar
  19. Tatler, B. W., Baddeley, R. J., & Vincent, B.T. (2006). The long and the short of it: Spatial statistics at fixation vary with saccade amplitude and task. Vision Research, 46, 1857–1862.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Torralba, A., Oliva, A., Castelhano, M. S., & Henderson, J. M. (2006). Contextual guidance of eye movements and attention in realworld scenes: The role of global features in object search. Psychological Review, 113, 766–786.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Underwood, G., & Foulsham, T. (2006). Visual saliency and semantic incongruency influence eye movements when inspecting pictures. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59, 1931–1949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Vaughan, J. (1982). Control of fixation duration in visual search and memory search: Another look. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 8, 709–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vaughan, J., & Graefe, T. (1977). Delay of stimulus presentation after the saccade in visual search. Perception & Psychophysics, 22, 201–205.Google Scholar
  24. Yang, S.-N., & McConkie, G. W. (2001). Eye movements during reading: A theory of saccade initiation times. Vision Research, 41, 3567–3585.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing

Personalised recommendations