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The Psychology Newsletter for Spring 2013 (.PDF, 690 KB) covers updates for the Science IV and V Buildings, profiles some of our faculty and alumni (both Graduate & Undergraduate), and highlights our Honors students and awards winners from 2012.

 

Reading and eye tracking

Albrecht Inhoff, PhD

My philosophy of research training

I expect the students in my lab to be open minded, to work independently and to have some passion for research. I like to see curiosity, initiative and an ability to set realistic goals and to persist. As a mentor of graduate students, I prefer a nondirective approach. I consider myself a facilitator whose mission it is to help unfold a student's talents. After receiving their PhD, most of my students have assumed faculty positions (e.g., University of Georgia at Augusta) and three have joined human factors groups in industry (IBM and Unisys).

Laboratory users

The laboratory is primarily used by my graduate students, their undergraduate assistants and myself, although students from other laboratories have used it as well. Typically, I am mentoring one or more graduate students, each of whom supervises one or two undergraduate assistants.

Laboratory space

The reading/eye tracking laboratory is attractive laboratory space on the ground floor of the Department of Psychology building. It consists of a suit of six connected rooms – two relatively large center rooms, each of which is connected to two smaller running rooms. One of the large center rooms is primarily used as office space for graduate students and the other is primarily used for the reception of research participants and for laboratory meetings. Three of the smaller rooms house eye trackers and the fourth small room houses a more conventional setup for the measuring of manual and articulatory responses used in word-recognition or target-detection studies

Eye tracker setups

The early eye tracking work in the laboratory was conducted using a dual Purkinje system by Fourward Technologies – a sophisticated optical system with very high temporal and spatial accuracy. Most of our more recent work was conducted using a more user- and subject-friendly EyeLink 1 system. In fall 2003, a second-generation EyeLink 2 system was added to the lab. There is a fairly generous laboratory use policy and students of several other faculty members have used the equipment for thesis research (Celia Klin, Cynthia Connine, Mark Lenzenweger and Joseph Morrissey).

The beauty of the eye movement measure

Eye movements are sensitive to momentary demands of visual and linguistic tasks and measurement of eye movements can provide an excellent real-time record of perceptual and cognitive processes under natural task conditions. In contrast to more conventional tasks, where a participant performs a single prescribed response in response to a relatively simple stimulus, the measurement of eye movements allows for the free expression of a reader's/perceiver's response to a relatively complex visual display.

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Last Updated: 3/22/11