Special Issue "Eye Movements and Visual Cognition"

A special issue of Vision (ISSN 2411-5150).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Raymond M. Klein Website E-Mail
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience , Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
Interests: Eye movements and attention; Disorders of attention; Reading and dyslexia; Applied cognitive psychology
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Simon P. Liversedge Website E-Mail
School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom
Interests: Eye movements; Reading; Scene Perception; Visual Cognition; Cognitive Psychology; Binocularity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite submissions for a Special Issue on the topic of “eye movements and visual cognition”.

In keeping with the overall aim of the journal, to stimulate useful an interchange between individuals working primarily on basic theoretical issues and those working on more applied aspects of vision science, we invite papers on a range of topics related to the theme of “eye movements and visual cognition”. We are particularly interested in papers that review particular topics within this broad field.  Such reviews might be narrative (critiquing and summarizing research on a particular topic), tutorial (with a focus on methods and findings), empirical (e.g., meta-analytic), or theoretically synthetic (or some combination of these types). We will also consider papers with new empirical content when this emerges to resolve an undecided issue from such a review. Papers that seek to bridge the gap between theoretical and applied aspects, and between behavior and its neural substrate, will be especially welcome. Some examples of possible topics for this Special Issue are provided below. This should be viewed as a suggestive list, rather than an exhaustive catalogue. Individuals unsure about whether a proposed submission would be appropriate are invited to contact one of the Special Issue Editors, Raymond Klein or Simon Liversedge.

  • Eye movements in reading
    • Foveal and parafoveal processing
    • Oculomotor control and saccadic targeting
    • Reading in special populations
    • Eye movement control in reading across languages
    • Changes in reading with age
    • Neural correlates of reading
  • Eye movements in scene perception
    • Bottom-up versus top-down control
    • Change blindness
    • Dynamic scenes and multiple object tracking
  • Eye movements in visual search
  • Visually guided reaching
  • Attention and eye movements
    • Oculomotor capture
    • Does attention precede saccades
    • Inhibition of return
  • Natural viewing
    • Real scenes and non-laboratory studies
  • Working memory
    • Navigation, wayfinding, and foraging
  • Problem solving
  • Visual stability despite eye movements
  • Disorders of the oculomotor system
  • Development of oculomotor control
  • Eye movements for perception and action
  • Changes in pupil size

Prof. Dr. Raymond M. Klein
Prof. Dr. Simon P. Liversedge
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vision is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
What Can Eye Movements Tell Us about Higher Level Comprehension?
Vision 2019, 3(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3030045 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
The majority of eye tracking studies in reading are on issues dealing with word level or sentence level comprehension. By comparison, relatively few eye tracking studies of reading examine questions related to higher level comprehension in processing of longer texts. We present data [...] Read more.
The majority of eye tracking studies in reading are on issues dealing with word level or sentence level comprehension. By comparison, relatively few eye tracking studies of reading examine questions related to higher level comprehension in processing of longer texts. We present data from an eye tracking study of anaphor resolution in order to examine specific issues related to this discourse phenomenon and to raise more general methodological and theoretical issues in eye tracking studies of discourse processing. This includes matters related to the design of materials as well as the interpretation of measures with regard to underlying comprehension processes. In addition, we provide several examples from eye tracking studies of discourse to demonstrate the kinds of questions that may be addressed with this methodology, particularly with respect to the temporality of processing in higher level comprehension and how such questions correspond to recent theoretical arguments in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Seeing Beyond Salience and Guidance: The Role of Bias and Decision in Visual Search
Vision 2019, 3(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3030046 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
Visual search is a popular tool for studying a range of questions about perception and attention, thanks to the ease with which the basic paradigm can be controlled and manipulated. While often thought of as a sub-field of vision science, search tasks are [...] Read more.
Visual search is a popular tool for studying a range of questions about perception and attention, thanks to the ease with which the basic paradigm can be controlled and manipulated. While often thought of as a sub-field of vision science, search tasks are significantly more complex than most other perceptual tasks, with strategy and decision playing an essential, but neglected, role. In this review, we briefly describe some of the important theoretical advances about perception and attention that have been gained from studying visual search within the signal detection and guided search frameworks. Under most circumstances, search also involves executing a series of eye movements. We argue that understanding the contribution of biases, routines and strategies to visual search performance over multiple fixations will lead to new insights about these decision-related processes and how they interact with perception and attention. We also highlight the neglected potential for variability, both within and between searchers, to contribute to our understanding of visual search. The exciting challenge will be to account for variations in search performance caused by these numerous factors and their interactions. We conclude the review with some recommendations for ways future research can tackle these challenges to move the field forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
The Nature of Unconscious Attention to Subliminal Cues
Vision 2019, 3(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3030038 - 01 Aug 2019
Abstract
Attentional selection in humans is mostly determined by what is important to them or by the saliency of the objects around them. How our visual and attentional system manage these various sources of attentional capture is one of the most intensely debated issues [...] Read more.
Attentional selection in humans is mostly determined by what is important to them or by the saliency of the objects around them. How our visual and attentional system manage these various sources of attentional capture is one of the most intensely debated issues in cognitive psychology. Along with the traditional dichotomy of goal-driven and stimulus-driven theories, newer frameworks such as reward learning and selection history have been proposed as well to understand how a stimulus captures attention. However, surprisingly little is known about the different forms of attentional control by information that is not consciously accessible to us. In this article, we will review several studies that have examined attentional capture by subliminal cues. We will specifically focus on spatial cuing studies that have shown through response times and eye movements that subliminal cues can affect attentional selection. A majority of these studies have argued that attentional capture by subliminal cues is entirely automatic and stimulus-driven. We will evaluate their claims of automaticity and contrast them with a few other studies that have suggested that orienting to unconscious cues proceeds in a manner that is contingent with the top-down goals of the individual. Resolving this debate has consequences for understanding the depths and the limits of unconscious processing. It has implications for general theories of attentional selection as well. In this review, we aim to provide the current status of research in this domain and point out open questions and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
Open AccessReview
Eye Behavior During Multiple Object Tracking and Multiple Identity Tracking
Vision 2019, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3030037 - 31 Jul 2019
Abstract
We review all published eye-tracking studies to date that have used eye movements to examine multiple object (MOT) or multiple identity tracking (MIT). In both tasks, observers dynamically track multiple moving objects. In MOT the objects are identical, whereas in MIT they have [...] Read more.
We review all published eye-tracking studies to date that have used eye movements to examine multiple object (MOT) or multiple identity tracking (MIT). In both tasks, observers dynamically track multiple moving objects. In MOT the objects are identical, whereas in MIT they have distinct identities. In MOT, observers prefer to fixate on blank space, which is often the center of gravity formed by the moving targets (centroid). In contrast, in MIT observers have a strong preference for the target-switching strategy, presumably to refresh and maintain identity-location bindings for the targets. To account for the qualitative differences between MOT and MIT, two mechanisms have been posited, a position tracking (MOT) and an identity tracking (MOT & MIT) mechanism. Eye-tracking studies of MOT have also demonstrated that observers execute rescue saccades toward targets in danger of becoming occluded or are about to change direction after a collision. Crowding attracts the eyes close to it in order to increase visual acuity for the crowded objects to prevent target loss. It is suggested that future studies should concentrate more on MIT, as MIT more closely resembles tracking in the real world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
Regressions during Reading
Vision 2019, 3(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3030035 - 09 Jul 2019
Abstract
Readers occasionally move their eyes to prior text. We distinguish two types of these movements (regressions). One type consists of relatively large regressions that seek to re-process prior text and to revise represented linguistic content to improve comprehension. The other consists of relatively [...] Read more.
Readers occasionally move their eyes to prior text. We distinguish two types of these movements (regressions). One type consists of relatively large regressions that seek to re-process prior text and to revise represented linguistic content to improve comprehension. The other consists of relatively small regressions that seek to correct inaccurate or premature oculomotor programming to improve visual word recognition. Large regressions are guided by spatial and linguistic knowledge, while small regressions appear to be exclusively guided by knowledge of spatial location. There are substantial individual differences in the use of regressions, and college-level readers often do not regress even when this would improve sentence comprehension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
The Changing Landscape: High-Level Influences on Eye Movement Guidance in Scenes
Vision 2019, 3(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3030033 - 28 Jun 2019
Abstract
The use of eye movements to explore scene processing has exploded over the last decade. Eye movements provide distinct advantages when examining scene processing because they are both fast and spatially measurable. By using eye movements, researchers have investigated many questions about scene [...] Read more.
The use of eye movements to explore scene processing has exploded over the last decade. Eye movements provide distinct advantages when examining scene processing because they are both fast and spatially measurable. By using eye movements, researchers have investigated many questions about scene processing. Our review will focus on research performed in the last decade examining: (1) attention and eye movements; (2) where you look; (3) influence of task; (4) memory and scene representations; and (5) dynamic scenes and eye movements. Although typically addressed as separate issues, we argue that these distinctions are now holding back research progress. Instead, it is time to examine the intersections of these seemingly separate influences and examine the intersectionality of how these influences interact to more completely understand what eye movements can tell us about scene processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
Open AccessReview
Eye Movements in Medical Image Perception: A Selective Review of Past, Present and Future
Vision 2019, 3(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020032 - 20 Jun 2019
Abstract
The eye movements of experts, reading medical images, have been studied for many years. Unlike topics such as face perception, medical image perception research needs to cope with substantial, qualitative changes in the stimuli under study due to dramatic advances in medical imaging [...] Read more.
The eye movements of experts, reading medical images, have been studied for many years. Unlike topics such as face perception, medical image perception research needs to cope with substantial, qualitative changes in the stimuli under study due to dramatic advances in medical imaging technology. For example, little is known about how radiologists search through 3D volumes of image data because they simply did not exist when earlier eye tracking studies were performed. Moreover, improvements in the affordability and portability of modern eye trackers make other, new studies practical. Here, we review some uses of eye movements in the study of medical image perception with an emphasis on newer work. We ask how basic research on scene perception relates to studies of medical ‘scenes’ and we discuss how tracking experts’ eyes may provide useful insights for medical education and screening efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
Using Eye Movements to Understand how Security Screeners Search for Threats in X-Ray Baggage
Vision 2019, 3(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020024 - 04 Jun 2019
Abstract
There has been an increasing drive to understand failures in searches for weapons and explosives in X-ray baggage screening. Tracking eye movements during the search has produced new insights into the guidance of attention during the search, and the identification of targets once [...] Read more.
There has been an increasing drive to understand failures in searches for weapons and explosives in X-ray baggage screening. Tracking eye movements during the search has produced new insights into the guidance of attention during the search, and the identification of targets once they are fixated. Here, we review the eye-movement literature that has emerged on this front over the last fifteen years, including a discussion of the problems that real-world searchers face when trying to detect targets that could do serious harm to people and infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
The Changing Role of Phonology in Reading Development
Vision 2019, 3(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020023 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
Processing of both a word’s orthography (its printed form) and phonology (its associated speech sounds) are critical for lexical identification during reading, both in beginning and skilled readers. Theories of learning to read typically posit a developmental change, from early readers’ reliance on [...] Read more.
Processing of both a word’s orthography (its printed form) and phonology (its associated speech sounds) are critical for lexical identification during reading, both in beginning and skilled readers. Theories of learning to read typically posit a developmental change, from early readers’ reliance on phonology to more skilled readers’ development of direct orthographic-semantic links. Specifically, in becoming a skilled reader, the extent to which an individual processes phonology during lexical identification is thought to decrease. Recent data from eye movement research suggests, however, that the developmental change in phonological processing is somewhat more nuanced than this. Such studies show that phonology influences lexical identification in beginning and skilled readers in both typically and atypically developing populations. These data indicate, therefore, that the developmental change might better be characterised as a transition from overt decoding to abstract, covert recoding. We do not stop processing phonology as we become more skilled at reading; rather, the nature of that processing changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
What Can Eye Movements Tell Us about Subtle Cognitive Processing Differences in Autism?
Vision 2019, 3(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020022 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is neurodevelopmental condition principally characterised by impairments in social interaction and communication, and repetitive behaviours and interests. This article reviews the eye movement studies designed to investigate the underlying sampling or processing differences that might account for the principal [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is neurodevelopmental condition principally characterised by impairments in social interaction and communication, and repetitive behaviours and interests. This article reviews the eye movement studies designed to investigate the underlying sampling or processing differences that might account for the principal characteristics of autism. Following a brief summary of a previous review chapter by one of the authors of the current paper, a detailed review of eye movement studies investigating various aspects of processing in autism over the last decade will be presented. The literature will be organised into sections covering different cognitive components, including language and social communication and interaction studies. The aim of the review will be to show how eye movement studies provide a very useful on-line processing measure, allowing us to account for observed differences in behavioural data (accuracy and reaction times). The subtle processing differences that eye movement data reveal in both language and social processing have the potential to impact in the everyday communication domain in autism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
Eye Movements Actively Reinstate Spatiotemporal Mnemonic Content
Vision 2019, 3(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020021 - 18 May 2019
Abstract
Eye movements support memory encoding by binding distinct elements of the visual world into coherent representations. However, the role of eye movements in memory retrieval is less clear. We propose that eye movements play a functional role in retrieval by reinstating the encoding [...] Read more.
Eye movements support memory encoding by binding distinct elements of the visual world into coherent representations. However, the role of eye movements in memory retrieval is less clear. We propose that eye movements play a functional role in retrieval by reinstating the encoding context. By overtly shifting attention in a manner that broadly recapitulates the spatial locations and temporal order of encoded content, eye movements facilitate access to, and reactivation of, associated details. Such mnemonic gaze reinstatement may be obligatorily recruited when task demands exceed cognitive resources, as is often observed in older adults. We review research linking gaze reinstatement to retrieval, describe the neural integration between the oculomotor and memory systems, and discuss implications for models of oculomotor control, memory, and aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
Meaning and Attentional Guidance in Scenes: A Review of the Meaning Map Approach
Vision 2019, 3(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020019 - 10 May 2019
Abstract
Perception of a complex visual scene requires that important regions be prioritized and attentionally selected for processing. What is the basis for this selection? Although much research has focused on image salience as an important factor guiding attention, relatively little work has focused [...] Read more.
Perception of a complex visual scene requires that important regions be prioritized and attentionally selected for processing. What is the basis for this selection? Although much research has focused on image salience as an important factor guiding attention, relatively little work has focused on semantic salience. To address this imbalance, we have recently developed a new method for measuring, representing, and evaluating the role of meaning in scenes. In this method, the spatial distribution of semantic features in a scene is represented as a meaning map. Meaning maps are generated from crowd-sourced responses given by naïve subjects who rate the meaningfulness of a large number of scene patches drawn from each scene. Meaning maps are coded in the same format as traditional image saliency maps, and therefore both types of maps can be directly evaluated against each other and against maps of the spatial distribution of attention derived from viewers’ eye fixations. In this review we describe our work focusing on comparing the influences of meaning and image salience on attentional guidance in real-world scenes across a variety of viewing tasks that we have investigated, including memorization, aesthetic judgment, scene description, and saliency search and judgment. Overall, we have found that both meaning and salience predict the spatial distribution of attention in a scene, but that when the correlation between meaning and salience is statistically controlled, only meaning uniquely accounts for variance in attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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Open AccessReview
Associations and Dissociations between Oculomotor Readiness and Covert Attention
Vision 2019, 3(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision3020017 - 07 May 2019
Abstract
The idea that covert mental processes such as spatial attention are fundamentally dependent on systems that control overt movements of the eyes has had a profound influence on theoretical models of spatial attention. However, theories such as Klein’s Oculomotor Readiness Hypothesis (OMRH) and [...] Read more.
The idea that covert mental processes such as spatial attention are fundamentally dependent on systems that control overt movements of the eyes has had a profound influence on theoretical models of spatial attention. However, theories such as Klein’s Oculomotor Readiness Hypothesis (OMRH) and Rizzolatti’s Premotor Theory have not gone unchallenged. We previously argued that although OMRH/Premotor theory is inadequate to explain pre-saccadic attention and endogenous covert orienting, it may still be tenable as a theory of exogenous covert orienting. In this article we briefly reiterate the key lines of argument for and against OMRH/Premotor theory, then evaluate the Oculomotor Readiness account of Exogenous Orienting (OREO) with respect to more recent empirical data. These studies broadly confirm the importance of oculomotor preparation for covert, exogenous attention. We explain this relationship in terms of reciprocal links between parietal ‘priority maps’ and the midbrain oculomotor centres that translate priority-related activation into potential saccade endpoints. We conclude that the OMRH/Premotor theory hypothesis is false for covert, endogenous orienting but remains tenable as an explanation for covert, exogenous orienting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements and Visual Cognition)
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