Investigating task-dependent top-down effects on overt visual attention

Autor(en): Betz, Torsten
Kietzmann, Tim C.
Wilming, Niklas 
Koenig, Peter 
Stichwörter: bottom-up features; COLOR; computational modeling; CONTRIBUTE; EYE-MOVEMENTS; FEATURES; LUMINANCE-CONTRAST; Ophthalmology; overt visual attention; SALIENCY; SCENES; SHIFTS; task-dependent behavior; top-down effects
Erscheinungsdatum: 2010
Herausgeber: ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC
Journal: JOURNAL OF VISION
Volumen: 10
Ausgabe: 3
Zusammenfassung: 
Different tasks can induce different viewing behavior, yet it is still an open question how or whether at all high-level task information interacts with the bottom-up processing of stimulus-related information. Two possible causal routes are considered in this paper. Firstly, the weak top-down hypothesis, according to which top-down effects are mediated by changes of feature weights in the bottom-up system. Secondly, the strong top-down hypothesis, which proposes that top-down information acts independently of the bottom-up process. To clarify the influences of these different routes, viewing behavior was recorded on web pages for three different tasks: free viewing, content awareness, and information search. The data reveal significant task-dependent differences in viewing behavior that are accompanied by minor changes in feature-fixation correlations. Extensive computational modeling shows that these small but significant changes are insufficient to explain the observed differences in viewing behavior. Collectively, the results show that task-dependent differences in the current setting are not mediated by a reweighting of features in the bottom-up hierarchy, ruling out the weak top-down hypothesis. Consequently, the strong top-down hypothesis is the most viable explanation for the observed data.
ISSN: 15347362
DOI: 10.1167/10.3.15

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