Eye movements for pictures of social scenes - instructions do not prevent fixation of faces

P Heard, A Williams, U Leonards

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstractpeer-review

Abstract

Following Yarbus's findings of instructions influencing scene exploration, [Yarbus, 1967 Eye Movements and Vision (New York: Plenum)] we measured eye movements in participants viewing pictures from children's story books. Three kinds of instructions were used: (a) Scenario with feelings: can you tell me what is happening and what the people are feeling? (b) Object-based: eg how many people are wearing yellow? (c) Individual emotion: eg how do you think the person in the front feels? Eye-movement patterns differed significantly between these three sets of instructions, specifically with respect to fixation frequencies for faces. As expected, face fixations were significantly more common in `individual emotion' than `scenario with feelings' conditions, and both emotional conditions showed more fixations to faces than the object condition. Surpris- ingly, however, face fixations reached 30% of total fixations even in the object condition. In emotional but not object-based conditions, women looked significantly more often at faces than did men. Results are discussed with respect to social influences on visual cognition, and possible implications for autism.
Translated title of the contributionEye movements for pictures of social scenes - instructions do not prevent fixation of faces
Original languageEnglish
Pages28 - 28
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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