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Andrea Ghiani, Liz R. Van Hout, Joost G. Driessen, Eli Brenner; Where do people look when walking up and down familiar staircases?. Journal of Vision 2023;23(1):7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.23.1.7.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Many activities in daily life do not impose strict requirements on gaze. We investigated gaze when walking up and down staircases within one's own house. We anticipated that using a variety of staircases in different environments and not informing participants that stair climbing was the focus of investigation might provide a description of gaze behavior that is closer to that used in our daily life than doing so under circumstances in which the focus is explicitly and exclusively directed at the stairs. We analyzed several measures, including the order in which participants fixated the steps. We confirmed that people often look at the steps sequentially, but found that they often made fixations back to steps they had already fixated. They also regularly skipped looking at several steps to fixate further ahead. On average, they directed their gaze at about half the steps. They looked further ahead when ascending than when descending staircases. Overall, the results are similar to those found under highly constrained laboratory conditions, although we do report some differences. One such difference is a tendency to fixate fewer steps. Another is that participants fixated steps that were less far ahead when descending staircases. We also introduced some new analyses that may help understand gaze behavior during stair climbing.
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