Select Page
If a picture is worth a thousand words, scientists now find that not everybody looks at the same words first. When shown a series of pictures some people might focus more on, say, faces, while others might fixate on food. The new findings emphasize how the world might look different from one person to the next. Much remains a mystery about how we look at the world. People constantly move their eyes to fix their gazes on items of interest, making about two to four eye movements every second for some 150,000 motions daily, but it remains uncertain how we choose what to focus on. Scientists attempting to predict which parts of a scene will attract the eye have often tried modeling a "typical observer" based on aggregated data from many people. A common assumption was that any differences between the gazes of people could "safely be ignored," said study lead author Benjamin de Haas, a neuroscientist at Justus-Liebig University Giessen in Germany.