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Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > An eye-tracking study of inanimate objects
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An eye-tracking study of inanimate objects

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalPsihologija
Journal number4
Volume42
Number of pages20
Pages417-436
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Unlike the animate objects, where participants were consistent in their looking patterns, for inanimates it was difficult to identify both consistent areas of fixations and a consistent order of fixations. Furthermore, in comparison to animate objects, inanimates received significantly shorter total looking time, shorter longest looks and a smaller number of overall fixations. However, as with animates, looking patterns did not systematically differ between the naming and non-naming conditions. These results suggested that animacy, but not labelling, impacts on looking behaviour in this paradigm. In the light of feature-based accounts of semantic memory organization, one could interpret these findings as suggesting that processing of the animate objects is based on the saliency/diagnosticity of their visual features (which is then reflected through participants eye-movements towards those features), whereas processing of the inanimate objects is based more on functional features (which cannot be easily captured by looking behaviour in such a paradigm).