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Click to download PDF version Click to download BibTeX data Clik to view abstract R. Carmi, L. Itti, The Role of Spatial Memory in Guiding Attention During Natural Vision, In: Proc. Eye Tracking, Cognition and Communication Workshop of the Second Biennial Conference on Cognitive Science, Jun 2006.

Abstract: Paying attention to the right thing at the right time underlies the ability of humans and other animals to learn, perceive, and interact with their environment. A central unresolved question is the time frame in which spatial memory guides attention, with current estimates ranging from a single fixation to seconds, minutes, or even days. Here we answer this question by revealing the time course of attentional selection during natural vision. We asked human participants to visually explore either continuous or scene-shuffled video clips, and quantified the impact of memory-free influences on overt attentional selections (saccades) based on a computational saliency model. Overall, scene shuffling resulted in no significant differences in the impact of memory-free influences compared to continuous viewing. However, abrupt scene transitions (jump cuts) led to sharp peaks in the impact of memory-free influences, which then declined progressively across 7 fixations for up to 2.5 seconds. These results indicate that visual exploration of dynamic scenes critically depends on spatial memory traces that persist across several fixations for up to a couple of seconds.

Themes: Model of Bottom-Up Saliency-Based Visual Attention, Model of Top-Down Attentional Modulation, Computational Modeling, Human Eye-Tracking Research


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