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Eye movements during scene inspection: A test of the saliency map hypothesis

Underwood, Geoffrey and Foulsham, Tom and van Loon, Editha and Humphreys, Louise and Bloyce, Jackie (2006) 'Eye movements during scene inspection: A test of the saliency map hypothesis.' European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 18 (3). pp. 321-342. ISSN 0954-1446

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What attracts attention when we inspect a scene? Two experiments recorded eye movements while viewers inspected pictures of natural office scenes in which two objects of interest were placed. One object had low contour density and uniform colouring (a piece of fruit), relative to another that was visually complex (for example, coffee mugs and commercial packages). In each picture the visually complex object had the highest visual saliency according to the Itti and Koch algorithm. Two experiments modified the task while the pictures were inspected, to determine whether visual saliency is invariably dominant in determining the pattern of fixations, or whether the purpose of inspection can provide a cognitive override that renders saliency secondary. In the first experiment viewers inspected the scene in preparation for a memory task, and the more complex objects were potent in attracting early fixations, in support of a saliency map model of scene inspection. In the second experiment viewers were set the task of detecting the presence of a low saliency target, and the effect of a high saliency distractor was negligible, supporting a model in which the saliency map can be built with cognitive influences that override low-level visual features.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2015 10:16
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 21:04

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