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    Narrative comprehension guides eye movements in the absence of motion

    Hutson, J.P. and Chandran, P. and Magliano, J.P. and Smith, Tim J. and Loschky, L.C. (2022) Narrative comprehension guides eye movements in the absence of motion. Cognitive Science 46 (5), e13131. ISSN 0364-0213.

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    Viewers’ attentional selection while looking at scenes is affected by both top-down and bottom-up factors. However, when watching film, viewers typically attend to the movie similarly irrespective of top-down factors – a phenomenon we call the Tyranny of Film. A key difference between still pictures and film is that film contains motion, which is a strong attractor of attention, and highly predictive of gaze during film viewing. The goal of the present study was to test if the Tyranny of Film is driven by motion. To do this, we created a slideshow presentation of the opening scene of Touch of Evil. Context condition participants watched the full slideshow. No-context condition participants did not see the opening portion of the scene, which showed someone placing a time-bomb into the trunk of a car. In prior research, we showed that despite producing very different understandings of the clip, this manipulation did not affect viewers’ attention (i.e., the Tyranny of Film), as both Context and No-context participants were equally likely to fixate on the car with the bomb when the scene was presented as a film. The current study found that when the scene was shown as a slideshow, the context manipulation produced differences in attentional selection (i.e., it attenuated attentional synchrony). We discuss these results in the context of the Scene Perception & Event Comprehension Theory (SPECT), which specifies the relationship between event comprehension and attentional selection in the context of visual narratives.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2022 13:50
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:15


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