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Object and scene analysis by saccadic eye-movements: an investigation with higher-order statistics

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Based on an information theoretical approach, we investigate feature selection processes in saccadic object and scene analysis. Saccadic eye movements of human observers are recorded for a variety of natural and artificial test images. These experimental data are used for a statistical evaluation of the fixated image regions. Analysis of second-order statistics indicates that regions with higher spatial variance have a higher probability to be fixated, but no significant differences beyond these variance effects could be found at the level of power spectra. By contrast, an investigation with higher-order statistics, as reflected in the bispectral density, yielded clear structural differences between the image regions selected by saccadic eye movements as opposed to regions selected by a random process. These results indicate that nonredundant, intrinsically two-dimensional image features like curved lines and edges, occlusions, isolated spots, etc. play an important role in the saccadic selection process which must be integrated with top-down knowledge to fully predict object and scene analysis by human observers.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Medizinische Psychologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80336 München, Goethestr. 31, Germany; 2: Lehrstuhl für Nachrichtentechnik, Technische Universität München, 80290 München, Arcisstr. 21, Germany


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