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    Eye movements and visual encoding during scene perception

    Rayner, K. and Smith, Tim J. and Malcolm, G.L. and Henderson, J.M. (2009) Eye movements and visual encoding during scene perception. Psychological Science 20 (1), pp. 6-10. ISSN 0956-7976.

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    Abstract

    The amount of time viewers could process a scene during eye fixations was varied by a mask that appeared at a certain point in each eye fixation. The scene did not reappear until the viewer made an eye movement. The main finding in the studies was that in order to normally process a scene, viewers needed to see the scene for at least 150 ms during each eye fixation. This result is surprising because viewers can extract the gist of a scene from a brief 40- to 100-ms exposure. It also stands in marked contrast to reading, as readers need only to view the words in the text for 50 to 60 ms to read normally. Thus, although the same neural mechanisms control eye movements in scene perception and reading, the cognitive processes associated with each task drive processing in different ways.

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