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Levels of processing and Eye Movements: A Stimulus driven approach

Research output: Book / Anthology / Report / Ph.D. thesisPh.D. thesisResearch

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The aim of this research is to investigate the explication of levels of attention
through eye movement parameters. Previous research from disparate
fields have suggested that eye movements are related to cognitive processing,
however, the exact nature of the relationship is unclear. Since eye
movements can be controlled either by bottom up stimulus properties or by
top down cognitive control, studies have compared eye movements in real
world tasks and searched for indicators of cognitive load or level of attention
when task demands increase. Extracting the effects of cognitive processing
on eye movements from the effect of the changing nature of the stimulus
is difficult. Characterising and confirming the parameters of levels of processing
in eye movements requires measures with the explicit intention of
systematically varying task demands while also taking account of individual
differences. This series of studies attempts to provide explanatory information
for previous findings that saccade amplitude and fixation duration are
indicative of levels of processing and to isolate top down influences on eye
movements with a stimulus driven approach. This approach involves developing
measures suitable for studying individual differences in attention in
large sample groups, using stimulus pairs which are similar in terms of bottom
up properties but different in terms of higher level processing. These
methods are presented in study 1, stimuli are developed and tested in Study
2. Study 3 uses these stimuli to investigate individual differences in levels
of processing within the normal population using existing constructs and
tests of cognitive style. Study 4 investigates these stimuli and the eye movements
of a clinical group with known interruption to the dorsal stream of
processing, and subsequent isolated difficulty with certain aspects of visual
cognition. Results are presented in terms of the development of methods
for assessing and tracking individual differences in cognition and subjective
attentional states in real time through eye movement analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

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