Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science

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07. May 2018 : A new paradigm to control both fixation duration and location: The temporal dynamics of eye movements as an exploitation-exploration dilemma.

New publ.:

Ehinger BV, Kaufhold L and König P (2018). Probing the temporal dynamics of the exploration–exploitation dilemma of eye movements. J Vis 18:6,1-24

When scanning a visual scene, we are in a constant decision process regarding whether to further exploit the information content at the current fixation or to go on and explore the scene. In this study, Ehinger et al. investigated how the experimental control of fixation durations affects the balance between exploiting a current view and exploring the environment by performing a new saccade. To test this, they developed a new paradigm that allows for experimental control over fixation durations and exploration behavior. Using a large Bayesian mixed model, they show an exponential decay in the fixation time and a logarithmic increase in the number of future fixation locations. This shows that sampling and processing of the current stimulus are exhausted for long fixation durations, biasing toward faster exploration.