Eye movements and eye tracking are a part of imaging science that serves as a gateway to further understand cognitive processes. Human vision allows people to perceive a full visual field with the illusion of a high-resolution scene. However, the anisotropic retina only provides a small area called the fovea for high-resolution perception, while the majority of the visual field provides only low-resolution perception. Eye movements detected by the eye tracker are mostly executed to locate objects of one's attention on the fovea, in order to gain detailed information. These movements are meant to move the eye or stabilize the image on the retina. The experiment was created to discover if eye movements are a reliable metric for learning and a useful tool to increase the speed of learning. Several subjects' eye movements were recorded as they learned to play a brainteaser game that utilizes visuomotor skills. Subjects observed the game, made decisions as to where to move game pieces, and then executed those decisions. The eye tracking system utilized information from the subject's eye and correlated it with a scene image to determine what region of the scene the subject is foveating, or looking, at. On the assumption that cognitive attention is directly related to where people look, subjects' thinking patterns, or strategies, were explored. The theory that with effective feedback one's rate of learning tends to increase was also explored. Eye movement patterns correlating to exploring the game board, planning moves, and guiding hand movements were found and used to evaluate subjects with respect to solving time. Unskilled subjects tended to decrease solving time with feedback, and skilled subjects remained at the same general level as they had little room to improve. Overall, the experiment found that eye movements may be a reliable metric for learning and may be useful feedback for learners, with the reservation that more experiments need to be completed for confirmation and further exploration.
Kucharczyk, Diane, "Using eye tracking to advance learning processes" (2000). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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