Eye movements of science centre visitors

S Duensing, P Heard, L Perks, SM Haigh, PJ Etchells, U Leonards

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstractpeer-review


To investigate the influence of context on visual scene exploration, we recorded childrens' and adults' eye movements while looking at: (a) pictures from children's story books, and (b) degraded pictures like the `Dalmatian'. For (a), both children and adults changed their fixation patterns according to the questions asked, in line with earlier findings that instructions influence scene exploration [Yarbus, 1967 Eye Movements and Vision (New York: Plenum)]. Eye movements differed between adults and children, with adults fixating more on faces, depending on the type of instruction (person-related versus material- or action-related) and the type of picture (contain- ing children only or children and adults). Also, without specific instruction, adults fixated faces more often and longer than children. For (b), the number of fixations and fixation duration within the figure strongly increased, and total number of saccades decreased, when participants knew where and what the figure was; furthermore, earlier searches for other figures influenced the explored zone within the picture. Results indicate that, beside instructions, expectation, experience, and age influence eye fixation patterns. ^ Eye movement during the observation of novel
Translated title of the contributionEye movements of science centre visitors
Original languageEnglish
Pages167 - 167
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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