Upper and lower visual field differences : an investigation of the gaze cascade effect
Burkitt Hiebert, Jennifer Ann
The purpose of the current thesis was to investigate the role of gaze direction, when making preference decisions. Previous research has reported a progressive gaze bias towards the preferred stimuli as participants near a decision, termed the gaze cascade effect (Shimojo, Simion, Shimojo & Scheir, 2003). The gaze cascade effect is strongest during the final 1500 msec prior to decision (Shimojo et al.). Previous eye-tracking research has displayed natural viewing biases towards the upper visual field. However, previous investigations have not investigated the impact of image placement on the gaze cascade effect. Study 1 investigated the impact of presenting stimuli vertically on the gaze cascade effect. Results indicated that natural scanning biases towards the upper visual field impacted the gaze cascade effect. The gaze cascade effect was reliably seen only when the preferred image was presented in the upper visual field. Using vertically paired stimuli study 2 investigated the impact of choice difficulty on the gaze cascade effect. Similar to study 1 the gaze cascade effect was only reliably seen when the preferred image was presented in the upper visual field. Additionally choice difficulty impacted the gaze cascade effect where easy decisions displayed a larger gaze cascade effect than hard decisions. Study 3 investigated if the gaze cascade effect is unique to preference decisions or present during all visual decisions. Judgments of concavity using perceptually ambiguous spheres were used and no gaze cascade effect was observed. Study 3 indicated that the gaze cascade effect is unique to preference decisions. Results of the current experiments indicate the gaze cascade effect is qualified by the spatial layout of the stimuli and choice difficulty. Results of the current experiments are consistent with previous eye-tracking research demonstrating biases towards the upper visual field and offering support for Previc’s theory on how we interact in visual space.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeCrossley, Margaret; Friesen, Chris Kelland; Borowsky, Ron; Farthing, Jon
Copyright DateMarch 2010
visual field differences
gaze cascade effect