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Looking and ActingVision and eye movements in natural behaviour$
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Michael Land and Benjamin Tatler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570943

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570943.001.0001

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How our eyes question the world

How our eyes question the world

(p.26) (p.27) Chapter 3 How our eyes question the world
Looking and Acting

Michael F. Land

Benjamin W. Tatler

Oxford University Press

This chapter raises the fundamental question of what drives eye movements. It reports the evidence for bottom-up (i.e. image-driven) and top-down (e.g., task-driven) control. It begins by asking whether it is actually meaningful to talk about fixation sequences. It then describes some of the ideas that have been put forward to account for the extent of similarities between fixation sequences and for the structure of these sequences. It also addresses the different issues involved when subjects are simply viewing a scene compared with when they have some behavioural task to complete while inspecting it. Moreover, it considers some of the recent objections that have been raised about the original salience map model. It is shown that the correlations between the distribution of salience and the distribution of actual fixations are not impressive, and their interpretation is fraught with problems. Simple psychophysical search tasks propose a role for basic image features in capturing attention and guiding eye movements. Attempts to reconcile the effect of tasks in eye guidance with image-based salience favour the idea that high-level factors modulate the salience map.

Keywords:   eye movements, fixation sequences, salience, eye guidance

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