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Do People "Pop Out"?

Mayer KM, Vuong QC, Thornton IM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, search for human targets was more efficient than for machine targets as indicated by shallower search slopes for human targets.Eye tracking further revealed that observers made more first fixations to human than to machine targets and that their on-target fixation durations were shorter for human compared to machine targets.In summary, our results suggest that searching for people in natural scenes is more efficient than searching for other categories even though people do not pop out.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The human body is a highly familiar and socially very important object. Does this mean that the human body has a special status with respect to visual attention? In the current paper we tested whether people in natural scenes attract attention and "pop out" or, alternatively, are at least searched for more efficiently than targets of another category (machines). Observers in our study searched a visual array for dynamic or static scenes containing humans amidst scenes containing machines and vice versa. The arrays consisted of 2, 4, 6 or 8 scenes arranged in a circular array, with targets being present or absent. Search times increased with set size for dynamic and static human and machine targets, arguing against pop out. However, search for human targets was more efficient than for machine targets as indicated by shallower search slopes for human targets. Eye tracking further revealed that observers made more first fixations to human than to machine targets and that their on-target fixation durations were shorter for human compared to machine targets. In summary, our results suggest that searching for people in natural scenes is more efficient than searching for other categories even though people do not pop out.

No MeSH data available.


Stimuli.Top-row: Frames taken from a video displaying human motion. Bottom-row: Frames taken from a video showing mechanical motion.
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pone.0139618.g001: Stimuli.Top-row: Frames taken from a video displaying human motion. Bottom-row: Frames taken from a video showing mechanical motion.

Mentions: The stimuli consisted of 1.8 s video clips. There were two target categories of clips: human motions and mechanical motions, with 8 scenes in each category. The human motions consisted of a person performing a cartwheel, washing dishes or walking down the stairs for example. The mechanical motions consisted of a sawing machine, a truck unloading stones or a carousel for example. Each scene contained a single predominant object type from the target category and there were never any objects from the other category. Stimuli were taken from films and documentaries or acquired with a camcorder. Frames from two example videos are shown in Fig 1. The videos had a frame rate of 25 frames per second and frames were 128 pixel x 96 pixel greyscale images.


Do People "Pop Out"?

Mayer KM, Vuong QC, Thornton IM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Stimuli.Top-row: Frames taken from a video displaying human motion. Bottom-row: Frames taken from a video showing mechanical motion.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4595219&req=5

pone.0139618.g001: Stimuli.Top-row: Frames taken from a video displaying human motion. Bottom-row: Frames taken from a video showing mechanical motion.
Mentions: The stimuli consisted of 1.8 s video clips. There were two target categories of clips: human motions and mechanical motions, with 8 scenes in each category. The human motions consisted of a person performing a cartwheel, washing dishes or walking down the stairs for example. The mechanical motions consisted of a sawing machine, a truck unloading stones or a carousel for example. Each scene contained a single predominant object type from the target category and there were never any objects from the other category. Stimuli were taken from films and documentaries or acquired with a camcorder. Frames from two example videos are shown in Fig 1. The videos had a frame rate of 25 frames per second and frames were 128 pixel x 96 pixel greyscale images.

Bottom Line: However, search for human targets was more efficient than for machine targets as indicated by shallower search slopes for human targets.Eye tracking further revealed that observers made more first fixations to human than to machine targets and that their on-target fixation durations were shorter for human compared to machine targets.In summary, our results suggest that searching for people in natural scenes is more efficient than searching for other categories even though people do not pop out.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The human body is a highly familiar and socially very important object. Does this mean that the human body has a special status with respect to visual attention? In the current paper we tested whether people in natural scenes attract attention and "pop out" or, alternatively, are at least searched for more efficiently than targets of another category (machines). Observers in our study searched a visual array for dynamic or static scenes containing humans amidst scenes containing machines and vice versa. The arrays consisted of 2, 4, 6 or 8 scenes arranged in a circular array, with targets being present or absent. Search times increased with set size for dynamic and static human and machine targets, arguing against pop out. However, search for human targets was more efficient than for machine targets as indicated by shallower search slopes for human targets. Eye tracking further revealed that observers made more first fixations to human than to machine targets and that their on-target fixation durations were shorter for human compared to machine targets. In summary, our results suggest that searching for people in natural scenes is more efficient than searching for other categories even though people do not pop out.

No MeSH data available.