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Yoshiyuki Ueda, Yusuke Kamakura, Jun Saiki; Vanishing points attract eye movements during visual search. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1168. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1168.
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A vanishing point seems to be an important and convenient cue to understand visual scenes at a glance. It indicates depth, and the closer objects are, the smaller their sizes become. Considering that the resolution of our central vision is high whereas peripheral is low, seeing a vanishing point is efficient to perceive a whole scene. Borji et al. (2015) demonstrated that a vanishing point attracted visual attention in a free viewing task. Here, we examined whether vanishing points attract eye movements during visual search. In Experiment 1, we conducted a free viewing task using different natural scenes from the previous study and could replicate the effect of vanishing points. In Experiment 2, a Gabor patch was embedded in a natural scene, and participants were asked to search for it. The results showed that first saccade in each trial tended towards a vanishing point. To control for contrast and objects included in scenes, in Experiment 3 we investigated the effect of a vanishing point with simple geometric figures. In a half of pictures, lines converging to a vanishing point were invisible around the vanishing point, whereas in the other half, they were visible. Eight or twelve squares were presented and participants were asked to search for a rectangle among them. The results showed that vanishing points attracted attention even in scenes composed of simple geometric figures. In particular, the effect of vanishing points was larger than that of saliency when distance between a fixation point and a vanishing point was small. These results suggest that vanishing points attract attention during not only free-viewing but also visual search, and provide new insights into search models including saliency map.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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