Maxwellian Eye Fixation during Natural Scene Perception

Abstract : When we explore a visual scene, our eyes make saccades to jump rapidly from one area to another and fixate regions of interest to extract useful information. While the role of fixation eye movements in vision has been widely studied, their random nature has been a hitherto neglected issue. Here we conducted two experiments to examine the Maxwellian nature of eye movements during fixation. In Experiment 1, eight participants were asked to perform free viewing of natural scenes displayed on a computer screen while their eye movements were recorded. For each participant, the probability density function (PDF) of eye movement amplitude during fixation obeyed the law established by Maxwell for describing molecule velocity in gas. Only the mean amplitude of eye movements varied with expertise, which was lower in experts than novice participants. In Experiment 2, two participants underwent fixed time, free viewing of natural scenes and of their scrambled version while their eye movements were recorded. Again, the PDF of eye movement amplitude during fixation obeyed Maxwell's law for each participant and for each scene condition (normal or scrambled). The results suggest that eye fixation during natural scene perception describes a random motion regardless of top-down or of bottom-up processes.
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The Scientific World Journal, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012, 12 p. 〈10.1100/2012/956340〉
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Contributeur : Céline Martel <>
Soumis le : mercredi 3 juillet 2013 - 17:09:52
Dernière modification le : mercredi 21 mars 2018 - 16:08:10

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J. Duchesne, Vincent Bouvier, J. Guilleme, O.A. Coubard. Maxwellian Eye Fixation during Natural Scene Perception. The Scientific World Journal, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012, 12 p. 〈10.1100/2012/956340〉. 〈hal-00841062〉

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