Eye movements in a simple spatial reasoning task. Ko«, C. and Gilchrist, I., D. Perception, 33:485-494, 2004.
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1 Introduction Patterns of eye movements reflect both the content of the visual scene and the task that the observer is carrying out (eg Yarbus 1967). In addition, a number of recent studies have shown that eye-movement patterns systematically reflect the spatial layout when participants simply imagine the scene. For example, Brandt and Stark (1997) presented a chessboard-like display with black and white squares to their participants. Participants were then shown a blank board and were asked to imagine the previously seen spatial arrangement of black squares. The resulting eye movements were very similar to those generated when participants viewed the original display. A visual display (like the chessboard) need not necessarily be present for eye movements to coincide with stored spatial information. Richardson and Spivey (2000) and Spivey and Geng (2001) presented objects and animations in one of four locations on the screen to their participants. When later asked questions referring to one of the events while sat in front of a blank screen, participants were more likely to move their eyes to the location where that event had occurred. Together, these findings show that eye movements can emanate from stored visual representations. Additional support for the idea that eye-movement patterns can be influenced by internal representations comes from studies in which linguistic information affects the way information is extracted from a visual scene. Altmann and Kamide (1999) showed participants a visual scene depicting, for example, a boy, a cake, and various distractor objects. The cake was the only edible object in the scene. When the participants heard thesentencthe boy will eat the cake'' they moved their eyes faster to the target object (the cake) than when they heard thesentencthe boy will move the cake''. This is evidence for a direct and on-line interaction between the linguistic and visual infor-mation. Such effects can even occur in the absence of any useful visual information. For example, Demarais and Cohen (1998) had their participants solve verbally presented spatial inference problems. When the problems involved the relational terms above or below, participants made more vertical eye movements than when the problems involved the terms left or right. Together, these results demonstrate how visual and non-visual representations can shape the eye movements that are generated. In addition, these results suggest that eye movements can emanate from such representations even in the absence of a visual display. Abstract. We report two experiments in which participants read a question about the spatial relation-ship between two letters, then viewed a visual display containing the letters and were required to respond to the question. The format of the question influenced the nature of the eye movements generated to the visual display. Participants also had a tendency to make additional eye move-ments in order to generate a fixation sequence that corresponded to the order of the letters in the question. This demonstrates an influence of stored information on eye movement generation, and suggests that the scanpath plays a role in structuring the visual information to facilitate reasoning.
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 abstract = {1 Introduction Patterns of eye movements reflect both the content of the visual scene and the task that the observer is carrying out (eg Yarbus 1967). In addition, a number of recent studies have shown that eye-movement patterns systematically reflect the spatial layout when participants simply imagine the scene. For example, Brandt and Stark (1997) presented a chessboard-like display with black and white squares to their participants. Participants were then shown a blank board and were asked to imagine the previously seen spatial arrangement of black squares. The resulting eye movements were very similar to those generated when participants viewed the original display. A visual display (like the chessboard) need not necessarily be present for eye movements to coincide with stored spatial information. Richardson and Spivey (2000) and Spivey and Geng (2001) presented objects and animations in one of four locations on the screen to their participants. When later asked questions referring to one of the events while sat in front of a blank screen, participants were more likely to move their eyes to the location where that event had occurred. Together, these findings show that eye movements can emanate from stored visual representations. Additional support for the idea that eye-movement patterns can be influenced by internal representations comes from studies in which linguistic information affects the way information is extracted from a visual scene. Altmann and Kamide (1999) showed participants a visual scene depicting, for example, a boy, a cake, and various distractor objects. The cake was the only edible object in the scene. When the participants heard thesentencthe boy will eat the cake'' they moved their eyes faster to the target object (the cake) than when they heard thesentencthe boy will move the cake''. This is evidence for a direct and on-line interaction between the linguistic and visual infor-mation. Such effects can even occur in the absence of any useful visual information. For example, Demarais and Cohen (1998) had their participants solve verbally presented spatial inference problems. When the problems involved the relational terms above or below, participants made more vertical eye movements than when the problems involved the terms left or right. Together, these results demonstrate how visual and non-visual representations can shape the eye movements that are generated. In addition, these results suggest that eye movements can emanate from such representations even in the absence of a visual display. Abstract. We report two experiments in which participants read a question about the spatial relation-ship between two letters, then viewed a visual display containing the letters and were required to respond to the question. The format of the question influenced the nature of the eye movements generated to the visual display. Participants also had a tendency to make additional eye move-ments in order to generate a fixation sequence that corresponded to the order of the letters in the question. This demonstrates an influence of stored information on eye movement generation, and suggests that the scanpath plays a role in structuring the visual information to facilitate reasoning.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Ko«, Christof and Gilchrist, Iain D},
 journal = {Perception}
}
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