The Contributions of Image Content and Behavioral Relevancy to Overt Attention

Autor(en): Onat, Selim 
Acik, Alper 
Schumann, Frank
Koenig, Peter 
Stichwörter: EYE-MOVEMENTS; FEATURES; FREE EXPLORATION; GAZE; GUIDANCE; LUMINANCE-CONTRAST; Multidisciplinary Sciences; NATURAL SCENES; OBJECT RECOGNITION; SALIENCY MAP; Science & Technology - Other Topics; VISUAL-ATTENTION
Erscheinungsdatum: 2014
Herausgeber: PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Journal: PLOS ONE
Volumen: 9
Ausgabe: 4
Zusammenfassung: 
During free-viewing of natural scenes, eye movements are guided by bottom-up factors inherent to the stimulus, as well as top-down factors inherent to the observer. The question of how these two different sources of information interact and contribute to fixation behavior has recently received a lot of attention. Here, a battery of 15 visual stimulus features was used to quantify the contribution of stimulus properties during free-viewing of 4 different categories of images (Natural, Urban, Fractal and Pink Noise). Behaviorally relevant information was estimated in the form of topographical interestingness maps by asking an independent set of subjects to click at image regions that they subjectively found most interesting. Using a Bayesian scheme, we computed saliency functions that described the probability of a given feature to be fixated. In the case of stimulus features, the precise shape of the saliency functions was strongly dependent upon image category and overall the saliency associated with these features was generally weak. When testing multiple features jointly, a linear additive integration model of individual saliencies performed satisfactorily. We found that the saliency associated with interesting locations was much higher than any low-level image feature and any pair-wise combination thereof. Furthermore, the low-level image features were found to be maximally salient at those locations that had already high interestingness ratings. Temporal analysis showed that regions with high interestingness ratings were fixated as early as the third fixation following stimulus onset. Paralleling these findings, fixation durations were found to be dependent mainly on interestingness ratings and to a lesser extent on the low-level image features. Our results suggest that both low-and high-level sources of information play a significant role during exploration of complex scenes with behaviorally relevant information being more effective compared to stimulus features.
ISSN: 19326203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093254

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