Even if I showed you where you looked, remembering where you just looked is hard

Ellen M. Kok*, Avi M. Aizenman, Melissa L. -H. Vo, Jeremy M. Wolfe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

People know surprisingly little about their own visual behavior, which can be problematic when learning or executing complex visual tasks such as search of medical images. We investigated whether providing observers with online information about their eye position during search would help them recall their own fixations immediately afterwards. Seventeen observers searched for various objects in "Where's Waldo'' images for 3 s. On two-thirds of trials, observers made target present/absent responses. On the other third (critical trials), they were asked to click twelve locations in the scene where they thought they had just fixated. On half of the trials, a gaze-contingent window showed observers their current eye position as a 7.58 diameter "spotlight.'' The spotlight "illuminated'' everything fixated, while the rest of the display was still visible but dimmer. Performance was quantified as the overlap of circles centered on the actual fixations and centered on the reported fixations. Replicating prior work, this overlap was quite low (26%), far from ceiling (66%) and quite close to chance performance (21%). Performance was only slightly better in the spotlight condition (28%, p = 0.03). Giving observers information about their fixation locations by dimming the periphery improved memory for those fixations modestly, at best.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • eye movements
  • fixation memory
  • gaze-contingent display
  • introspection
  • MODELS EYE-MOVEMENTS
  • PSYCHOPHYSICS TOOLBOX
  • LUNG NODULES
  • TRACKING
  • SEARCH
  • RECOGNITION
  • PERFORMANCE
  • FIXATIONS
  • ATTENTION
  • EXAMPLES

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