Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Presentation at the Eating disorders, social media and digital technology workshop

I presented Leanne Caie's (University of Aberdeen) and Hannah Russell's (University of Lincoln) studies at the Eating disorders, social media and digital technology workshop in Lincoln.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

ECVP in Liverpool

It's some time ago and I should have posted about our conference attendance earlier. With a fairly large group, we attended the 2015 ECVP (visual perception) conference in Liverpool. The conference started with a lecture inside a church (acoustics were not optimal), and on the next day a very interesting session on eye tracking social interaction. I had my own poster on the influence of social cues when they are viewed (initially) outside of fixation, and my colleagues from Aberdeen (Bert Timmermans) and Belgrade (Suncica Zdravkovic) presented data from joint projects on dual gaze tracking (Timmermans) and lightness influences on eye gaze (Zdravkovic). The sessions were well attended, particularly in the first days of the conference. On the way back we had a long look at the Peak district (meaning: traffic jam).

Well attended talk by Zdravkovic.

Seminar recording available on Blackboard (Lincoln psychology only)

The recording of the research seminar that I gave in Lincoln two weeks ago is now available on Blackboard. You will need a login to the psychology subject site for it (within Blackboard). I'm happy not to watch it myself :)

RS2 skills project on its way

For the course 'Research Skills 2', groups of students will work on research projects as a team. The group that I am supervising this semester will look at how well people guess the calorie contents of foods and how this related to how confident they are about their guess.

If you are on campus you may be asked to take part. The students will go around with their laptops and Android devices (thanks to http://osdoc.cogsci.nl/) and ask for your input. Don't be shy! We will store all information anonymously, so don't worry about not being good at the task. The task should take around 5 minutes.

How many calories do you think are in this banana? (image from http://globe-views.com/dcim/dreams/bananas/bananas-03.jpg)

RIF funded project started

The project supported by the Research Investment Fund has now started. Before explaining what it is all about, why not take part in our study?

Your tasks will be to make tea, sort a deck of cards and to walk around the building, while you wear our latest gadget (very similar to a pair of glasses).

The only requirement for taking part is that you do not wear glasses already (and it would come in handy if you are in the Lincoln area).

Simply contact me:
or Flora:

We now have biscuits to go with the tea that you will be making!

(image from http://www.rollonfriday.com/Portals/0/images/teamaking.jpg)

Friday, September 18, 2015

New academic year - dissertations

The new academic year has started, with eight students doing their dissertation projects with me. Everyone is now on track. The following projects will be taking place:

* Ebony will be using eye tracking to examine attitudes towards offenders.
* Hannah will use eye tracking to examine the link with eating behaviour.
* Julija will use eye tracking to examine how people reach decisions.
* Laura will use mouse tracking to study implicit attitudes towards domestic abuse.
* Omari will look at how highlighting influences decisions
* Shaquille will be examining how attire influences trust and eye movements
* Oliver will examine eye movements in a video link
* Amber will study how advance information about one of the actors influences eye movements.

They will all need participants, so if you are in the Lincoln area, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Scientist completed

After four and half days testing, Summer Scientist is now over. Thanks to the help of Holly, who will start her third year in psychology in Lincoln in September, we collected data across 159 participants, aged from 3 years onwards.

Figure 1. Stimulus sequence.

The task was to decide for a predefined target (arrows, eyes, or hands), whether they were pointing or looking left or right. Participants were asked to use the computer mouse and reveal the target stimulus (together with a distractor) by clicking on a start button in the bottom of the screen. They were then asked to move the mouse as quickly as possible to the button in the top of the screen indicating the direction of the target (see Figure 1).

For our task, we found that the youngest children had little experience using the computer mouse, suggesting we should use a touch screen in future studies, because every child indicated having used a tablet PC.

This is reflected in Figure 2, showing what number of participants completed the experiment, consisting of a total of 53 decisions (including five to practice).

We also found that accuracy of the response was reduced only for the youngest children, whereas response times kept on improving with age (Figure 3).

After this initial analysis, the focus will now be on examining how the different types of cues (hands, arrows, and eyes) influence response times, accuracy and mouse trajectories.
Figure 2. Gender and age distribution of our participants.

Figure 3. How  accuracy and response times develop with age.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lincolnshire show

Today, Catia, Kevin and I presented our research at the Lincolnshire show (Catia: Human-dog interaction, Kevin: Genes and cognitive performance, myself: Eye tracking and attention). For the children, there was the visual search task on the laptop. The adults were shown examples of our eye movement research. There were also several enquiries about studying at the University of Lincoln.

Friday, June 12, 2015

EPS Lincoln

The next meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society will take in Lincoln. I will present my study in which I examined whether grouping the attributes of each alternative (by means of a bounding box) in a risky choice leads to more eye movements within a choice (no) and a stronger influence of the expected value difference between the choices (no).

The full abstract can be found in the abstract book.


There will be three presentations at ECVP with contributions from my side. My own poster (together with Markus Bindemann and Mike Burton) will be about how quickly social (eye gaze) and symbolic cues (arrows, direction words) can be responded to when they are not presented where the viewer is already looking.  Sunčica Zdravković will present our work on the influence of shadows on people's eye movements. Bert Timmermans will present the results of our dual eye tracking experiment (involving an Eyelink 1000, an Eyelink II, a long network cable, and cross recurrence analysis).

Summer scientist

I will participate with a mouse tracking task in this year's summer scientist. In this event, children can take part in our studies. In my study, I will look at how two cues of direction (eyes gazing and hands pointing) compete for attention.

Instead of using Mouse Tracker I will use mouse tracking in OpenSesame for the simple reason that while OpenSesame could be installed on the lab computers, installing Mousetracker could not (no admin permissions). Using OpenSesame I found that it was easier to present to images simultaneously, and change the feedback given to the participant. Many thanks to Eoin Travers for sharing the mouse tracking script!

Paper in Visual Cognition online

My paper in Visual Cognition is now online (at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13506285.2015.1042539). Not open access unfortunately, but send me an e-mail for a pre-print (http://staff.lincoln.ac.uk/fhermens).

The paper shows that fixation instruction can influence response times in a gaze cueing paradigm. So unless you would like to find a pattern of results consistent with inhibition of return, it is important to take measures to ensure participants maintain fixation.

First Lincoln data accepted for publication

My first bit of data from Lincoln that has been accepted for publication will appear in a paper together with Sunčica Zdravković. In the article, we show that observers avoid fixation darker regions in images due to (simulated) shadows influence observers' eye movements, in agreement with an optimal sampling strategy.

Hermens, F. & Zdravković, S. (in press). Information extraction from shadowed regions in images: An eye movement study. Vision Research.