An informatics system for exploring
eye movements in reading.
PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Eye tracking techniques have been widely used in many research areas including
cognitive science, psychology, human-computer interaction, marketing research,
medical research etc. Many computer programs have emerged to help these
researchers to design experiments, present visual stimuli and process the large
quantity of numerical data produced by the eye tracker. However, most applications,
especially commercial products, are designed for a particular tracking device
and tend to be general purpose. Few of them are designed specifically for
reading research. This can be inconvenient when dealing with complex experimental
design, multi-source data collection, and text based data analysis, including
almost every aspect of a reading study lifecycle.
A flexible and powerful system that manages the lifecycle of different reading
studies is required to fulfill these demands. Therefore, we created an informatics
system with two major software suites: Experiment Executor and EyeMap. It
is a system designed specifically for reading research. Experiment Executor
helps reading researchers build complex experimental environments, which can
rapidly present display changes and support the co-registration of eye tracking
information with other data collection devices such as EEG (electroencephalography)
amplifiers. The EyeMap component helps researchers visualize and analysis
a wide range of writing systems including spaced and unspaced scripts, which
can be presented in proportional or non-proportional font types. The aim of the
system is to accelerate the life cycle of a reading experiment from design through
Several experiments were conducted on this system. These experiments
confirmed the effectiveness and the capability of the system with several new
reading research findings from the visual information processing stages of reading.
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