October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
The effects of product images and working memory load on eye movements
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Léon Franzen
    Concordia University, Montreal
  • Corina Lacombe
    Concordia University, Montreal
    University of Ottawa
  • Nathan Gagné
    Concordia University, Montreal
  • Onur Bodur
    Concordia University, Montreal
  • Bianca Grohmann
    Concordia University, Montreal
  • Aaron P. Johnson
    Concordia University, Montreal
    Réseau de Recherche en Santé de la Vision
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Fonds du recherche du Québec – société et culture (FRQSC); Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 626. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.626
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      Léon Franzen, Corina Lacombe, Nathan Gagné, Onur Bodur, Bianca Grohmann, Aaron P. Johnson; The effects of product images and working memory load on eye movements. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):626. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.626.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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The discipline of visual marketing increasingly relies on eye movements—specifically using area of interest (AOI) analyses—to better understand consumers’ processing of visual stimuli in viewing, searching, and decision-making tasks. These analyses often focus on the distribution of visual attention in space and product search paradigms. The effects of moment-to-moment working memory load on visual product perception and memory for the product remain elusive. We investigated the effects of working memory load and stimulus type (i.e., numbers versus grey-scaled images of consumer products from different product categories) using an n-Back task with four conditions of working memory load (i.e., passive viewing, 1-Back, 2-Back, 3-Back). Independent of experimental condition, stimulus presentation lasted 1.5 seconds. We compared results from AOI analysis with behavioural performance, and galvanic skin response measures to allow comparisons with marketing literature. Decision accuracy (d’) was overall worse and response times longer in the image condition. Accuracy also decreased with increasing n-Back load independent of stimulus type. A generalized linear mixed effects model predicting stimulus type as a function of the AOI data revealed significant predictive power of the two factors fixation duration and fixation count, but showed opposite effects of these, with shorter but increased number of fixations on the image task. Separately, stimulus type was also predictive of gaze duration showing longer gaze duration for product images. The difference between the two tasks’ fixation count was correlated with the difference in behavioural performance (i.e., accuracy) in the 1-Back condition. Lastly, stimulus type predicted skin conductance level and its habituation over time, with lower levels and stronger habituation on the image task. These results indicate that the type of stimulus chosen for an otherwise identical task changes visual sampling strategy and behavioural performance, and was associated with different levels of sympathetic arousal response.


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