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We have recently finished updating our database of EyeLink publications – there were more than 900 papers published in 2019 alone, and the database now contains well over 8000 publications in total. Each publication is checked individually to ensure that it contains data collected using an EyeLink eye tracker (rather than just referring to data collected with an EyeLink, as in a meta-analysis or review article) and that the research is published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Publications by Year
In a previous blog I plotted the number of publications per year and an updated version of that plot is included below:
Highly Cited EyeLink Publications
The earlier blog also listed the “top” journals for EyeLink publications – both with respect to the number of EyeLink articles and with respect to the journal’s impact factor. This year I thought it might be interesting to list some of the most highly cited articles in our database. Determining citation counts is a somewhat inexact science. There are three main sources of information on article citation counts – Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. While the advantages and disadvantages of each of these sources is a topic of lively debate (Harzing has written extensively on this – see e.g. this blog), Google Scholar has the twin advantages of having a very comprehensive coverage and being freely accessible.
The list below is a selection of 15 EyeLink articles, all of which have citation counts >500 according to Google Scholar. The list was generated by searching the top 20 journals by volume of EyeLink articles, and the top 10 journals by Impact Factor in our database. It is not intended to be exhaustive, and the articles are listed in no particular order. I think the list provides a fascinating illustration of the sheer breadth (and enormous impact) of the research that EyeLink eye trackers have been involved in.
Dovorany, Nicholas; Brannick, Schea; Johnson, Nathan; Ratiu, Ileana; LaCroix, Arianna N.
In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 14, pp. 1–15, 2023.
Of the three subtypes of attention outlined by the attentional subsystems model, alerting (vigilance or arousal needed for task completion) and executive control (the ability to inhibit distracting information while completing a goal) are susceptible to age-related decline, while orienting remains relatively stable. Yet, few studies have investigated strategies that may acutely maintain or promote attention in typically aging older adults. Music listening may be one potential strategy for attentional maintenance as past research shows that listening to happy music characterized by a fast tempo and major mode increases cognitive task performance, likely by increasing cognitive arousal. The present study sought to investigate whether listening to happy music (fast tempo, major mode) impacts alerting, orienting, and executive control attention in 57 middle and older-aged adults (M = 61.09 years
Hoversten, Liv J.; Martin, Clara D.
In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, vol. 49, no. 12, pp. 1564–1578, 2023.
Prior research has investigated the quality of information a reader can extract from upcoming parafoveal words. However, very few studies have considered parafoveal processing in bilingual readers, who may differ from monolinguals due to slower lexical access and susceptibility to cross-language activation. This eye-tracking experiment, therefore, investigated how bilingual readers process parafoveal semantic information within and across languages. We used the boundary technique to replace a preview word in a sentence with a different target word during the first rightward saccade from the pretarget region. We manipulated both preview language (nonswitch vs. code-switch) and semantic relatedness (synonym/translation vs. unrelated) between previews and targets. Upon fixation, target words always appeared in the same language as the rest of the sentence to create an essentially monolingual language context. Semantic preview benefits emerged for nonswitched synonym previews but not for code-switched translation previews. Furthermore, participants skipped code-switched previews less often than nonswitched previews and no more often than previews that were unfamiliar to them. These data suggest that bilinguals can extract within-language semantic information from the parafovea in both native and nonnative languages, but that cross-language words are not accessible while reading in a monolingual language mode, as per the partial selectivity hypothesis of bilingual language control.
McAteer, Siobhan M.; McGregor, Anthony; Smith, Daniel T.
Oculomotor rehearsal in visuospatial working memory Journal Article
In: Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, vol. 85, pp. 261–275, 2023.
The neural and cognitive mechanisms of spatial working memory are tightly coupled with the systems that control eye movements, but the precise nature of this coupling is not well understood. It has been argued that the oculomotor system is selectively involved in rehearsal of spatial but not visual material in visuospatial working memory. However, few studies have directly compared the effect of saccadic interference on visual and spatial memory, and there is little consensus on how the underlying working memory representation is affected by saccadic interference. In this study we aimed to examine how working memory for visual and spatial features is affected by overt and covert attentional interference across two experiments. Participants were shown a memory array, then asked to either maintain fixation or to overtly or covertly shift attention in a detection task during the delay period. Using the continuous report task we directly examined the precision of visual and spatial working memory representations and fit psychophysical functions to investigate the sources of recall error associated with different types of interference. These data were interpreted in terms of embodied theories of attention and memory and provide new insights into the nature of the interactions between cognitive and motor systems.
Nencheva, Mira L.; Piazza, Elise A.; Lew-Williams, Casey
In: Developmental Science, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. e12997, 2021.
Young children have an overall preference for child-directed speech (CDS) over adult-directed speech (ADS), and its structural features are thought to facilitate language learning. Many studies have supported these findings, but less is known about processing of CDS at short, sub-second timescales. How do the moment-to-moment dynamics of CDS influence young children's attention and learning? In Study 1, we used hierarchical clustering to characterize patterns of pitch variability in a natural CDS corpus, which uncovered four main word-level contour shapes: ‘fall', ‘rise', ‘hill', and ‘valley'. In Study 2, we adapted a measure from adult attention research—pupil size synchrony—to quantify real-time attention to speech across participants, and found that toddlers showed higher synchrony to the dynamics of CDS than to ADS. Importantly, there were consistent differences in toddlers' attention when listening to the four word-level contour types. In Study 3, we found that pupil size synchrony during exposure to novel words predicted toddlers' learning at test. This suggests that the dynamics of pitch in CDS not only shape toddlers' attention but guide their learning of new words. By revealing a physiological response to the real-time dynamics of CDS, this investigation yields a new sub-second framework for understanding young children's engagement with one of the most important signals in their environment.
Ellis, Erica M.; Borovsky, Arielle; Elman, Jeffrey L.; Evans, Julia L.
In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, pp. 600694, 2021.
Purpose: This study investigated whether the ability to utilize statistical regularities from fluent speech and map potential words to meaning at 18-months predicts vocabulary at 18- and again at 24-months. Method: Eighteen-month-olds (N = 47) were exposed to an artificial language with statistical regularities within the speech stream, then participated in an object-label learning task. Learning was measured using a modified looking-while-listening eye-tracking design. Parents completed vocabulary questionnaires when their child was 18-and 24-months old. Results: Ability to learn the object-label pairing for words after exposure to the artificial language predicted productive vocabulary at 24-months and amount of vocabulary change from 18- to 24 months, independent of non-verbal cognitive ability, socio-economic status (SES) and/or object-label association performance. Conclusion: Eighteen-month-olds' ability to use statistical information derived from fluent speech to identify words within the stream of speech and then to map the “words” to meaning directly predicts vocabulary size at 24-months and vocabulary change from 18 to 24 months. The findings support the hypothesis that statistical word segmentation is one of the important aspects of word learning and vocabulary acquisition in toddlers.
Nuthmann, Antje; Schütz, Immo; Einhäuser, Wolfgang
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 10, pp. 22057, 2020.
Whether fixation selection in real‑world scenes is guided by image salience or by objects has been a matter of scientific debate. To contrast the two views, we compared effects of location‑based and object‑based visual salience in young and older (65 + years) adults. Generalized linear mixed models were used to assess the unique contribution of salience to fixation selection in scenes. When analysing fixation guidance without recurrence to objects, visual salience predicted whether image patches were fixated or not. This effect was reduced for the elderly, replicating an earlier finding. When using objects as the unit of analysis, we found that highly salient objects were more frequently selected for fixation than objects with low visual salience. Interestingly, this effect was larger for older adults. We also analysed where viewers fixate within objects, once they are selected. A preferred viewing location close to the centre of the object was found for both age groups. The results support the view that objects are important units of saccadic selection. Reconciling the salience view with the object view, we suggest that visual salience contributes to prioritization among objects. Moreover, the data point towards an increasing relevance of object‑bound information with increasing age.
Borghini, Giulia; Hazan, Valerie
In: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 147, no. 6, pp. 3783–3794, 2020.
Relative to native listeners, non-native listeners who are immersed in a second language environment experience increased listening effort and reduced ability to successfully perform an additional task while listening. Previous research demonstrated that listeners can exploit a variety of intelligibility-enhancing cues to cope with adverse listening conditions. However, little is known about the implications of those speech perception strategies for listening effort. The current research aims to investigate by means of pupillometry how listening effort is modulated in native and non-native listeners by the availability of semantic context and acoustic enhancements during the comprehension of spoken sentences. For this purpose, semantic plausibility and speaking style were manipulated both separately and in combination during a speech perception task in noise. The signal to noise ratio was individually adjusted for each participant in order to target 50% intelligibility level. Behavioural results indicated that native and non-native listeners were equally able to fruitfully exploit both semantic and acoustic cues to aid their comprehension. Pupil data indicated that listening effort was reduced for both groups of listeners when acoustic enhancements were available, while the presence of a plausible semantic context did not lead to a reduction in listening effort.
Carlisle, Nancy B.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
In: Visual Cognition, vol. 27, no. 5-8, pp. 452–466, 2019.
Various theoretical proposals have been put forward to explain how memory representations control attention during visual search. In this study, we use the first saccade on each trial as a way to quantify the attentional impact of multiple types of representations held in working memory. Across two experiments, we found that a search target maintained in working memory was attended over 20 times more frequently than a non-memory-matching distractor. In addition, an item matching an additional object represented in working memory was attended 2 times more frequently than a non-memory matching distractor. These findings show that there is a measurable attentional impact of items maintained in working memory for a future task, however, such representations have a much weaker attentional impact than working memory representations of search targets.
Parodi, Giovanni; Julio, Cristóbal; Nadal, Laura; Burdiles, Gina; Cruz, Adriana
In: Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 132, pp. 47–58, 2018.
Eye movements constitute an important cue to understanding how readers connect textual information, particularly when an encapsulator pronoun must be anaphorically resolved in order to construct a coherent mental representation of the text being read. While existing research into anaphoric reference has predominantly focused on the distance between pronouns and referents and on their morphosyntactic features, no previously published studies have addressed the effect in causal contexts of varying extensions of the referent being encapsulated by a neuter pronoun. In the present research, we help fill this gap by studying the effects of online processing of the anaphoric neuter Spanish pronoun ello (‘this' in English) in causally-related texts using two varying referent extensions: short and long antecedent. A one factor repeated measures design was implemented. The results of three eye reading measures showed a fine-grained picture of encapsulation processes for seventy-two Chilean university students as they each read twelve texts. On the one hand, the reading times for processing the neuter pronoun ello AOI did not show statistically significant differences between the short and long conditions. On the other, the findings indicate that, in constructing referential and relational coherence in causally-related texts in Spanish, resolution of the neuter pronoun is in fact influenced by the extension of the referent.
Chen, Jing; Valsecchi, Matteo; Gegenfurtner, Karl R.
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 116, no. 1, pp. 18–29, 2016.
Several studies indicated that human observers are very efficient at tracking self-generated hand movements with their gaze, yet it is not clear whether this is simply a byproduct of the predictability of self-generated actions or if it results from a deeper coupling of the somatomotor and oculomotor systems. In a first behavioral experiment we compared pursuit performance as observers either followed their own finger or tracked a dot whose motion was externally generated but mimicked their finger motion. We found that even when the dot motion was completely predictable both in terms of onset time and in terms of kinematics, pursuit was not identical to the one produced as the observers tracked their finger, as evidenced by increased rate of catch-up saccades and by the fact that in the initial phase of the movement gaze was lagging behind the dot, whereas it was ahead of the finger. In a second experiment we recorded EEG in the attempt to find a direct link between the finger motor preparation, indexed by the lateralized readiness potential (LRP), and the latency of smooth pursuit. After taking into account finger movement onset variability, we observed larger LRP amplitudes associated with earlier smooth pursuit onset across trials. The same held across subjects, where average LRP onset correlated with average eye latency. The evidence from both experiments concurs to indicate that a strong coupling exists between the motor systems leading to eye and finger movements and that simple top-down predictive signals are unlikely to support optimal coordination.
Li, Chia-Ling; Aivar, M. Pilar; Kit, Dmitry M.; Tong, Matthew H.; Hayhoe, Mary
Memory and visual search in naturalistic 2D and 3D environments Journal Article
In: Journal of Vision, vol. 16, no. 8, pp. 1–20, 2016.
The role of memory in guiding attention allocation in daily behaviors is not well understood. In experiments with two-dimensional (2D) images, there is mixed evidence about the importance of memory. Because the stimulus context in laboratory experiments and daily behaviors differs extensively, we investigated the role of memory in visual search, in both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) environments. A 3D immersive virtual apartment composed of two rooms was created, and a parallel 2D visual search experiment composed of snapshots from the 3D environment was developed. Eye movements were tracked in both experiments. Repeated searches for geometric objects were performed to assess the role of spatial memory. Subsequently, subjects searched for realistic context objects to test for incidental learning. Our results show that subjects learned the room-target associations in 3D but less so in 2D. Gaze was increasingly restricted to relevant regions of the room with experience in both settings. Search for local contextual objects, however, was not facilitated by early experience. Incidental fixations to context objects do not necessarily benefit search performance. Together, these results demonstrate that memory for global aspects of the environment guides search by restricting allocation of attention to likely regions, whereas task relevance determines what is learned from the active search experience. Behaviors in 2D and 3D environments are comparable, although there is greater use of memory in 3D.
Peel, Tyler R.; Hafed, Ziad M.; Dash, Suryadeep; Lomber, Stephen G.; Corneil, Brian D.
In: PLoS Biology, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. e1002531, 2016.
Microsaccades aid vision by helping to strategically sample visual scenes. Despite the importance of these small eye movements, no cortical area has ever been implicated in their generation. Here, we used unilateral and bilateral reversible inactivation of the frontal eye fields (FEF) to identify a cortical drive for microsaccades. Unexpectedly, FEF inactivation altered microsaccade metrics and kinematics. Such inactivation also impaired microsaccade deployment following peripheral cue onset, regardless of cue side or inactivation configuration. Our results demonstrate that the FEF provides critical top-down drive for microsaccade generation, particularly during the recovery of microsaccades after disruption by sensory transients. Our results constitute the first direct evidence, to our knowledge, for the contribution of any cortical area to microsaccade generation, and they provide a possible substrate for how cognitive processes can influence the strategic deployment of microsaccades.
Johnson, Beth P.; Rinehart, Nicole J.; White, Owen B.; Millist, Lynette; Fielding, Joanne
Saccade adaptation in autism and Asperger's disorder Journal Article
In: Neuroscience, vol. 243, pp. 76–87, 2013.
Autism and Asperger's disorder (AD) are neuro- developmental disorders primarily characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication, however motor coordination deficits are increasingly recognized as a prevalent feature of these conditions. Although it has been proposed that children with autism and AD may have diffi- culty utilizing visual feedback during motor learning tasks, this has not been directly examined. Significantly, changes within the cerebellum, which is implicated in motor learning, are known to be more pronounced in autism compared to AD. We used the classic double-step saccade adaptation paradigm, known to depend on cerebellar integrity, to inves- tigate differences in motor learning and the use of visual feedback in children aged 9–14 years with high-functioning autism (HFA; IQ > 80; n = 10) and AD (n = 13). Performance was compared to age and IQ matched typically developing children (n = 12). Both HFA and AD groups successfully adapted the gain of their saccades in response to perceived visual error, however the time course for adaptation was prolonged in the HFA group. While a shift in saccade dynamics typically occurs during adaptation, we revealed aberrant changes in both HFA and AD groups. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence centrally impli- cating the cerebellum in ocular motor dysfunction in autism. Specifically, these findings collectively imply functional impairment of the cerebellar network and its inflow and outflow tracts that underpin saccade adaptation, with greater disturbance in HFA compared to AD.
Foulsham, Tom; Barton, Jason J. S.; Kingstone, Alan; Dewhurst, Richard; Underwood, Geoffrey
In: Neural Networks, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 665–677, 2011.
Two recent papers (Foulsham, Barton, Kingstone, Dewhurst, & Underwood, 2009; Mannan, Kennard, & Husain, 2009) report that neuropsychological patients with a profound object recognition problem (visual agnosic subjects) show differences from healthy observers in the way their eye movements are controlled when looking at images. The interpretation of these papers is that eye movements can be modeled as the selection of points on a saliency map, and that agnosic subjects show an increased reliance on visual saliency, i.e., brightness and contrast in low-level stimulus features. Here we review this approach and present new data from our own experiments with an agnosic patient that quantifies the relationship between saliency and fixation location. In addition, we consider whether the perceptual difficulties of individual patients might be modeled by selectively weighting the different features involved in a saliency map. Our data indicate that saliency is not always a good predictor of fixation in agnosia: even for our agnosic subject, as for normal observers, the saliency-fixation relationship varied as a function of the task. This means that top-down processes still have a significant effect on the earliest stages of scanning in the setting of visual agnosia, indicating severe limitations for the saliency map model. Top-down, active strategies-which are the hallmark of our human visual system-play a vital role in eye movement control, whether we know what we are looking at or not.
Kramer, Arthur F.; Hahn, Sowon; Irwin, David E.; Theeuwes, Jan
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 135–154, 1999.
Two studies examined potential age-related differences in attentional capture. Subjects were instructed to move their eyes as quickly as possible to a color singleton target and to identify a small letter located inside it. On half the trials, a new stimulus (i.e., a sudden onset) appeared simultaneously with the presentation of the color singleton target. The onset was always a task-irrelevant distractor. Response times were lengthened, for both young and old adults, whenever an onset distractor appeared, despite the fact that subjects reported being unaware of the appearance of the abrupt onset. Eye scan strategies were also disrupted by the appearance of the onset distractors. On about 40% of the trials on which an onset appeared, subjects made an eye movement to the task-irrelevant onset before moving their eyes to the target. Fixations close to the onset were brief, suggesting parallel programming of a reflexive eye movement to the onset and goal-directed eye movement to the target. Results are discussed in terms of age-related sparing of the attentional and oculomotor processes that underlie attentional capture.
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