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Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain$
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Joseph P. Huston, Marcos Nadal, Francisco Mora, Luigi F. Agnati, and Camilo José Cela Conde

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670000

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.001.0001

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The moving eye of the beholder: Eye tracking and the perception of paintings

The moving eye of the beholder: Eye tracking and the perception of paintings

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 5 The moving eye of the beholder: Eye tracking and the perception of paintings
Source:
Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain
Author(s):

Raphael Rosenberg

Christoph Klein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.003.0005

Gaze movements have been an issue in the history of art long before they became a research topic of cognitive sciences. Empirical research partly contradicts and partly confirms the assumptions of art historical texts. Therefore and thanks to the latest technological developments eye-tracking significantly contributes to the understanding of the perception of painting. The first part of this chapter gives an introduction to the analysis of gaze movements as a psychological method, including an overview of the physiological and neural basis of fixations and saccades as well as the relation of visual attention and gaze movements. The second part summarizes eye-tracking studies on the perception of paintings as they have been accomplished since the 1930s, discussing the variations of gaze movements during beholding, and showing how they vary depending to paintings, to beholders (individual and group-specific differences), as well as to task and context.

Keywords:   painting, art history, art perception, eye-tracking, gaze movements, attention

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