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Title: Visual foraging with fingers and eye gaze
Authors: Johannesson, Omar I.
Thornton, Ian M.
Smith, Irene J.
Chetverikov, Andrey
Kristjansson, Arni
Keywords: Attention
Searching behavior
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Citation: Johannesson, O. I., Thornton, I. M., Smith, I. J., Chetverikov, A., & Kristjansson, A. (2016). Visual foraging with fingers and eye gaze. i-Perception, 7(2), 1-18.
Abstract: A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a) The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging) had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b) While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints.
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