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Joseph Arizpe, Galit Yovel, Chris Baker; The diversity, prevalence, and stability of idiosyncratic eye-movement patterns to faces. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):68. doi: 10.1167/16.12.68.
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The spatial pattern of eye-movements to faces considered as typical for neurologically healthy individuals is a roughly T-shaped distribution over the internal facial features with peak fixation density tending toward the left eye (observer's perspective). However, recent studies have indicated that striking deviations from this classic pattern are common within the population and are highly stable over time, revealing that this classic pattern actually reflects the average of various idiosyncratic eye-movement patterns across individuals. To investigate the prevalence of different idiosyncratic patterns within the healthy population, we analyzed the spatial patterns of eye-movements for 48 participants to estimate the range and frequency of different kinds of individual eye-movement patterns to faces. We found that there was a rather continuous variability among our participants' patterns; however, some clustering among similar idiosyncratic patterns could be discovered. In accord with prior studies, we could not find any relationship between particular idiosyncratic eye-movement patterns and recognition performance. Finally, to determine the stability of idiosyncratic eye-movement patterns across various experiment factors, we examined how Race of Face, Face Orientation, pre-stimulus Start Position, study or test Phase, and Time Window modulated the relative distinctiveness among and consistency within individual spatial patterns of eye-movements to faces. Our findings raise interesting questions regarding whether and how such differential eye-movement patterns may relate to individual differences in information utilization and neural processes underlying the cognitive processing of faces and, indeed, all visual stimuli.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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