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Temporal Sequences Quantify the Contributions of Individual Fixations in Complex Perceptual Matching Tasks

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This study applied techniques developed for machine translation to the gaze data recorded from a complex perceptual matching task modeled after fingerprint examinations.
Perceptual tasks - such as object matching, mammogram interpretation, mental rotation, and satellite imagery - often require the assignment of correspondence to fuse information across views. The gaze data provide temporal sequences that the machine translation algorithm uses to estimate the subjects' assumptions of corresponding regions. The study results show that experts and novices had similar surface behavior, such as the number of fixations made or the duration of fixations; however, the approach applied to data from experts was able to identify more corresponding areas between two prints. The fixations that were associated with clusters that map with high probability to corresponding location on the other prints were likely to have greater utility in a visual matching task. These techniques address a fundamental problem in eye tracking research with perceptual matches tasks. Given that the eyes always point somewhere, which fixations are the most informative and therefore are likely to be relevant for the comparison task? (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: January 28, 2021