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Eye-movement studies of visual face perception

Arizpe, JM; (2015) Eye-movement studies of visual face perception. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates factors influencing eye-movement patterns during face perception, the relationship of eye-movement patterns to facial recognition performance, and methodological considerations impacting the detection of differences in eye-movement patterns. In particular, in the first study (chapter 2), in which the basis of the other-race effect was investigated, differences in eyemovement patterns during recognition of own- versus other-race (African, Chinese) faces were found for Caucasian participants. However, these eyemovement differences were subtle and analysis-dependent, indicating that the discrepancy in prior reports regarding the presence or absence of such differences are due to variability in statistical sensitivity of analysis methods across studies. The second and third studies (chapters 3 and 4) characterized visuomotor factors, specifically pre-stimulus start position and distance, which strongly influence subsequent eye-movement patterns during face perception. An overall bias in fixation patterns to the opposite side of the face induced by start position and an increasing undershoot of the first ordinal fixation with increasing start distance were found. These visuomotor influences were not specific to faces and did not depend on the predictability of the location of the upcoming stimulus. These findings highlight the relevance, not only of stimulus and task factors, but also robust and characteristic visuomotor factors, in the interpretation of eye-movements as indices of visual attention. The final study (chapter 5) investigated individual differences as a factor in eye-movements to faces. The prevalence of different kinds of patterns and the impact of various stimulus, task, and visuomotor factors on the discriminability and consistency of individual eye-movement patterns were measured. The methodological strengths and limitations of the use of discrimination index and discrimination accuracy measures of the similarity of eye-movement patterns were also examined. Together these findings uncover neglected factors important to the interpretation of eye-movement patterns in studies of visual cognition.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Eye-movement studies of visual face perception
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471962
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