Saturday, January 21, 2017

Paper accepted on the effects of social and symbolic cues on visual search

My paper on the effects of social (eyes, pointing hands) and symbolic (arrows) cues on visual search has been accepted for publication in Psihologija. Three experiments are described in which participants were asked to look for target objects in cluttered displays. To help participants find the targets, cues were presented next to the target (and pointing / looking at the target). The results showed that cues that had a clear outline (e.g., arrows, hands) helped finding the target, while cues that did not have a clear outline (e.g., gazing eyes) did not speed up finding the target, independent of whether the cue was biologically relevant (social or symbolic) or not. Cues that are easy to find themselves have the strongest effects on finding a search target. These results confirm earlier findings in an cue interference paradigm.

Dissertation studies now looking for volunteers

Most dissertation projects have now started data collection, so if you are willing to take part, please get in touch. The various studies involve reporting body satisfaction for your own body or other people's bodies (Shannon), guessing whether eyes belong to violent on non-violent offenders (Kate), guessing numbers, such as what percentage of people attend university in the UK (Matt), choosing which program to treat alcohol dependency works best (Harman), identifying perpetrators from line-ups (Joan), deciding on the basis of descriptions of people whether you would give them a job or drink tea with them (Laura), and deciding whether you see a female or a male person in a photograph, while ignoring words (Charmaine).

Work on social attention in real world search presented at the BOMG meeting in Cardiff

Last Wednesday Tim Hodgson and I attended the meeting of the British Oculomotor Group (BOMG) in Cardiff. All aspects of eye movements were discussed at the meeting, including brain imaging of regions involved in the planning and control of eye movements (Greenlee), the training of vergence eye movements (Kapoula), nystagmus (various talks) and reading scrolling text (Harvey). In my own talk, I presented recent work, supported by an EPS grant. In the study, we examined whether participants find objects placed in different rooms more quickly when cues (gazing eyes, a pointing hand, or an arrow) indicated the location of the object. This was indeed the case, but the effect of the cue did not depend on the type of cue.

Flora presents summer scientist work at AVA meeting

On Monday 19 December, my PhD student, Flora Ioannidou presented her first study in the context of her PhD at the AVA meeting at Queen Mary University of London. In her poster, she presented the results from a study conducted at the summer scientist event. Children were asked to sit at a computer and to search for a target object in screens full of objects. On some of the trials, cues were placed near the target object to examine whether such cues help children to find the target. The results showed that hand and arrow cues helped in finding the target, particularly in young children, but that eyes did not have such effects.