Unveiling the science of eye tracking.
What is eye tracking?
Eye tracking is a sensor technology that can detect a person’s presence and follow what they are looking at in real-time. The technology converts eye movements into a data stream that contains information such as pupil position, the gaze vector for each eye, and gaze point. Essentially, the technology decodes eye movements and translates them into insights that can be used in a wide range of applications or as an additional input modality.
How it works?
Typically, an eye tracking system comprises one or more cameras, some light sources, and computing capabilities. Algorithms translate the camera feed into data points with the help of machine learning and advanced image processing.
Using eye tracker.
Eye tracking is used in research to understand visual attention and human behavior. Since visual attention is strongly linked to cognition (thought processes) it reveals a lot about what’s going on inside someone’s head.
Eye tracking research areas and applications are wide and varied, but include scientific research, marketing and user experience studies, and human performance.
Scientists use it to study human behavior and increase their understanding of things like child development, psychological conditions, and neurological disorders.
Eye tracking is a scientific research methodology used to understand human cognitive processes and behavioral patterns, as we perceive, process, and comprehend language.
Eye movement data provide valuable insight into written language comprehension. It helps understand language processing at various levels of analysis within a sentence: characters, syllables, words, phrases, or sentences.
In educational psychology, eye tracking can prove to be a great tool to gain insights into learning behavior, cognitive load, and engagement. The results help to create effectively design, evaluate, and improve educational materials and learning conditions.
Moreover, eye tracking methodology can be used to reveal atypical reading patterns. It provides a robust source of insight into conditions, therefore opening the possibility of an objective, unobtrusive diagnostic tool for learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
Understanding the eye tracker.
Eye movement analysis allows for objective insight into text processing, by providing information about the duration of visual attention assigned to specific text parts at the level of the phrase, word, or even character.
- Skipping to read a unit may indicate ease of processing due to very high predictability in the given context.
- Longer reading times may indicate confusion, or difficulty to comprehend.
- Long regressions (more than 10 letter spaces back along the line or to another line) may indicate difficulty in comprehending or incorporating a unit into the previous context.