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Proceedings Paper

Guiding the mind's eye: improving communication and vision by external control of the scanpath
Author(s): Erhardt Barth; Michael Dorr; Martin Böhme; Karl Gegenfurtner; Thomas Martinetz
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Paper Abstract

Larry Stark has emphasised that what we visually perceive is very much determined by the scanpath, i.e. the pattern of eye movements. Inspired by his view, we have studied the implications of the scanpath for visual communication and came up with the idea to not only sense and analyse eye movements, but also guide them by using a special kind of gaze-contingent information display. Our goal is to integrate gaze into visual communication systems by measuring and guiding eye movements. For guidance, we first predict a set of about 10 salient locations. We then change the probability for one of these candidates to be attended: for one candidate the probability is increased, for the others it is decreased. To increase saliency, for example, we add red dots that are displayed very briefly such that they are hardly perceived consciously. To decrease the probability, for example, we locally reduce the temporal frequency content. Again, if performed in a gaze-contingent fashion with low latencies, these manipulations remain unnoticed. Overall, the goal is to find the real-time video transformation minimising the difference between the actual and the desired scanpath without being obtrusive. Applications are in the area of vision-based communication (better control of what information is conveyed) and augmented vision and learning (guide a person's gaze by the gaze of an expert or a computer-vision system). We believe that our research is very much in the spirit of Larry Stark's views on visual perception and the close link between vision research and engineering.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6057, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XI, 60570D (9 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.674147
Show Author Affiliations
Erhardt Barth, Univ. of Lübeck (Germany)
Michael Dorr, Univ. of Lübeck (Germany)
Martin Böhme, Univ. of Lübeck (Germany)
Karl Gegenfurtner, Justus-Liebig-Univ. (Germany)
Thomas Martinetz, Univ. of Lübeck (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6057:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XI
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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