Salient features in gaze-aligned recordings of human visual input during free exploration of natural environments

Autor(en): Schumann, Frank
Einhaeuser-Treyer, Wolfgang
Vockeroth, Johannes
Bartl, Klaus
Schneider, Erich
Koenig, Peter 
Stichwörter: ATTENTION; COORDINATION; eye movements; eye tracking; EYE-MOVEMENTS; human; natural behavior; natural scenes; OBJECT RECOGNITION; Ophthalmology; saliency; SCENES; SELF-MOTION; STATISTICS; SYSTEM; TEMPORAL STABILITY; WORLD
Erscheinungsdatum: 2008
Herausgeber: ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC
Enthalten in: JOURNAL OF VISION
Band: 8
Ausgabe: 14
Zusammenfassung: 
During free exploration, humans adjust their gaze by combining body, head, and eye movements. Laboratory experiments on the stimulus features driving gaze, however, typically focus on eye-in-head movements, use potentially biased stimuli, and restrict the field of view. Our novel wearable eye-tracking system (EyeSeeCam) overcomes these limitations. We recorded gaze- and head-centered videos of the visual input of observers freely exploring real-world environments (4 indoor, 8 outdoor), yielding similar to 10 h of data. Global power spectra reveal little difference between head- and gaze-centered recordings. Local stimulus features exhibit spatial biases in head-centered coordinates, which are environment-dependent, but consistent across observers. Eye-in-head movements center these biases in gaze- centered coordinates, leading to elevated ``salient'' features at center of gaze. This shows that central biases in image feature distributions in ``natural'' photographs are not a property of environments, but of stimuli already gaze- centered by the photographer. Further central biases in laboratory subjects' fixation distributions do not result from re-centering of the eyes but are an artifact of display restrictions. Hence, our findings demonstrate that the concept of feature ``saliency'' transfers from the laboratory to free exploration, but also highlight the importance of experiments with freely moving eyes, head, and body.
ISSN: 15347362
DOI: 10.1167/8.14.12

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