An eye-tracking study of inanimate objects

Kovic, Vanja and Plunkett, Kim and Westermann, Gert (2009) An eye-tracking study of inanimate objects. Psihologija, 42 (4). pp. 417-436. ISSN 0048-5705

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Unlike the animate objects, where participants were consistent in their looking patterns, for inanimates it was difficult to identify both consistent areas of fixations and a consistent order of fixations. Furthermore, in comparison to animate objects, inanimates received significantly shorter total looking time, shorter longest looks and a smaller number of overall fixations. However, as with animates, looking patterns did not systematically differ between the naming and non-naming conditions. These results suggested that animacy, but not labelling, impacts on looking behaviour in this paradigm. In the light of feature-based accounts of semantic memory organization, one could interpret these findings as suggesting that processing of the animate objects is based on the saliency/diagnosticity of their visual features (which is then reflected through participants eye-movements towards those features), whereas processing of the inanimate objects is based more on functional features (which cannot be easily captured by looking behaviour in such a paradigm).

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08 Nov 2011 12:15
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21 Nov 2022 21:49