Going with the flow? The endogenous/exogenous influences on gaze control in dynamic scenes

Tim J. Smith, Parag K. Mital, John M. Henderson, Robin L. Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Where does one attend when viewing dynamic scenes? Unlike static scenes, the inclusion of transients such as motion and the flow of information in a dynamic scene may result in a greater exogenous control of attention but also necessitate moment-by-moment endogenous guidance in order to filter out irrelevant visual events. These factors were investigated in a series of studies recording the eye movements of participants whilst they watched a range of composed (e.g. TV and film) and naturalistic dynamic scenes under different viewing tasks. The best low-level predictor of gaze allocation during free-viewing of dynamic scenes is motion and motion contrast predicts the degree of clustering of gaze across multiple viewers. However, this bias towards motion can be overridden by viewing tasks that prioritise static features such as background, e.g. recognise the location. Gaze behaviour whilst free-viewing dynamic scenes depicting people engaged in recognisable events (e.g. doing the laundry) suggest that attention to motion may not be evidence of exogenous capture but rather a moment-by-moment interaction between motion, the semantic structure of naturalistic events and higher-order factors such as familiarity, memory and expectation.
The data presented was gathered during projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Ref F/00-158/BZ) and the ESRC (RES-062-23-1092).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th European Conference on Eye Movements Conference Abstracts
EditorsFrancoise Vitu, Eric Castet, Laurent Goffart
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event16th European Conference on Eye Movement (ECEM 2011) - Marseilles, Marseilles, France
Duration: 21 Aug 201125 Aug 2011

Publication series

NameJournal of eye movement research
PublisherIffwil: European Group for Eye Movement Research
ISSN (Electronic)1995-8692


Conference16th European Conference on Eye Movement (ECEM 2011)


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