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Maximilian Davide Broda, Benjamin de Haas; Individual differences in looking at persons in scenes. Journal of Vision 2022;22(12):9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.12.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Individuals freely viewing complex scenes vary in their fixation behavior. The most prominent and reliable dimension of such individual differences is the tendency to fixate faces. However, much less is known about how observers distribute fixations across other body parts of persons in scenes and how individuals may vary in this regard. Here, we aimed to close this gap. We expanded a popular annotated stimulus set (Xu, Jiang, Wang, Kankanhalli, & Zhao, 2014) with 6,365 hand-delineated pixel masks for the body parts of 1,136 persons embedded in 700 complex scenes, which we publish with this article (https://osf.io/ynujz/). This resource allowed us to analyze the person-directed fixations of 103 participants freely viewing these scenes. We found large and reliable individual differences in the distribution of fixations across person features. Individual fixation tendencies formed two anticorrelated clusters, one for the eyes, head, and the inner face and one for body features (torsi, arms, legs, and hands). Interestingly, the tendency to fixate mouths was independent of the face cluster. Finally, our results show that observers who tend to avoid person fixations in general, particularly do so for the face region. These findings underscore the role of individual differences in fixation behavior and reveal underlying dimensions. They are further in line with a recently proposed push–pull relationship between cortical tuning for faces and bodies. They may also aid the comparison of special populations to general variation.
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