Alarming Events in the Corner of Your Eye: Do They Trigger Early Saccades?

35 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2014

See all articles by Christine Harris

Christine Harris

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Psychology

Robin Kaplan

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hal Pashler

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Psychology

Date Written: April 11, 2008

Abstract

Is the eye drawn to configurations of objects in the periphery that would imply imminent danger? In three separate studies, subjects viewed color photographs that were either innocuous (e.g., a couple tossing a beach ball while a baby sat nearby in a stroller) or depicted the same objects rearranged to imply a potential for harm (e.g., couple tossing baby while beach ball lay in the stroller). The key elements in the danger scenes were fixated earlier as well as longer than the same items in control images. Low-level salience of the scenes was analyzed (according to the methods of Itti, Koch, and Niebur, 1998) and does not seem to account for the results. It is concluded that considerable configural semantic analysis occurs in the periphery; the finding extends previous research showing that individual emotionally charged objects can attract saccades (Calvo & Lang, 2004, 2005).

Keywords: Attention, Eye Movement, Saccades, Peripheral Visual Processing

Suggested Citation

Harris, Christine and Kaplan, Robin and Pashler, Hal, Alarming Events in the Corner of Your Eye: Do They Trigger Early Saccades? (April 11, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2542346 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2542346

Christine Harris

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Psychology ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0109
United States

Robin Kaplan

Bureau of Labor Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212
United States

Hal Pashler (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Psychology ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code #0109
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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