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Mijke O. Hartendorp, Stefan Van der Stigchel, Ignace Hooge, Jeanette Mostert, Tanja de Boer, Albert Postma; The relation between gaze behavior and categorization: Does where we look determine what we see?. Journal of Vision 2013;13(6):6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.6.6.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
When categorizing an object, we fixate our eyes on informative parts of that object. In the current study, morphed figures were used to investigate whether the interpretation of such unclear objects is reflected in the eye movement pattern. The morphed figures were created by interpolating two concrete objects. The intermediate steps represent figures that contain properties of both objects but in different proportions. Three experiments were conducted to investigate the relation between categorization and gaze behavior. In all three experiments, free-naming responses and eye movements were recorded simultaneously. In the first experiment, the relation between the interpretation and the fixated part of the figure was investigated: A strong relation was observed. Subsequently, it was investigated whether gaze patterns drive categorization or vice versa. In the second experiment, morphed figures were preceded by a prime word. A priming effect on categorization was found but not on gaze behavior. In the third experiment, a cue directed the observer's gaze to a particular location on the morphed figure. Interestingly, the cueing experiment showed a cueing effect not only on gaze behavior but also on categorization. Taken together, these findings suggest that where we look affects how we interpret a perceptually uncertain stimulus.
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