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Benjamin Reichelt, Sina Kühnel; Are experience-dependent eye movements determined by implicit or explicit memory processes?. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):412. doi: 10.1167/12.9.412.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Eye movements during complex scene perception seem to depend on prior experience, but it remains unclear which kind of memory influences them. One study only reported experience-dependent eye movements when participants certified being consciously aware of changes in images during a subsequent recognition task, a second study produced contradictory results. An important methodological difference between these studies was that only the first included a recognition task. Thus, our study aims to clarify if experience-dependent eye movements are determined by implicit or explicit memory processes. We merged the two designs and investigated two groups of 20 participants. The first group was explicitly instructed to pay close attention during the presentation of 72 photographed scenes, whereas the second group was instructed to simply look at the scenes. For each scene there was an original and a manipulated version. Both versions were counterbalanced across participants. Further the scenes were subdivided into three blocks and three conditions: novel, repeated and manipulated. Participants saw the same eight original scenes in the first two blocks and then the manipulated version in the third block. The remaining scenes were distributed over the novel and repeated conditions. Afterwards, participants had to identify whether the photos in the third block were novel, repeated or manipulated scenes and to name the manipulations. When participants of the first group were aware of the manipulation, the number of fixations in the altered region was significantly higher as when they were unaware. But even then, participants made significantly more fixations to the altered region than participants who saw the same version in the first block. These results suggest that even though experience-depending eye movements for manipulated scenes reflect conscious, explicit memory it also indicates the involvement of unconscious, implicit memory independent of the awareness of the viewed scene.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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