Person, place, and past influence eye movements during visual search.
Hidalgo-Sotelo, B., & Oliva, A. (submitted)
What is the role of an individualís past experience in guiding gaze in familiar environments? Contemporary models of search guidance suggest high level scene context is a strong predictor of where observers search in realistic scenes. Specific associations also develop between particular places and object locations. Together, scene context and place-specific associations bias attention to informative spatial locations. At the level of eye movements, it not known whether a personís specific search experience influences attentional selection. Eye movements are notoriously variable: people often foveate different places when searching for the same target in the same scene. Do individual differences in fixation locations influence subsequent scene sampling? We introduce a method, comparative map analysis, for analyzing spatial patterns in eye movement data. Using this method, we present evidence from a visual search study showing a uniquely informative role of an individualís search experience on attentional guidance in a familiar scene.