Efficient Avoidance of the Penalty Zone in Human Eye Movements

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Kilpeläinen , M & Theeuwes , J 2016 , ' Efficient Avoidance of the Penalty Zone in Human Eye Movements ' , PLoS One , vol. 11 , no. 12 , 0167956 . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167956

Title: Efficient Avoidance of the Penalty Zone in Human Eye Movements
Author: Kilpeläinen, Markku; Theeuwes, Jan
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Behavioural Sciences
Date: 2016-12-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/174805
Abstract: People use eye movements extremely effectively to find objects of interest in a cluttered visual scene. Distracting, task-irrelevant attention capturing regions in the visual field should be avoided as they jeopardize the efficiency of search. In the current study, we used eye tracking to determine whether people are able to avoid making saccades to a predetermined visual area associated with a financial penalty, while making fast and accurate saccades towards stimuli placed near the penalty area. We found that in comparison to the same task without a penalty area, the introduction of a penalty area immediately affected eye movement behaviour: the proportion of saccades to the penalty area was immediately reduced. Also, saccadic latencies increased, but quite modestly, and mainly for saccades towards stimuli near the penalty area. We conclude that eye movement behaviour is under efficient cognitive control and thus quite flexible: it can immediately be adapted to changing environmental conditions to improve reward outcome.
Subject: 515 Psychology
visual selection

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