We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

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

« Back

An eye-tracking study of inanimate objects

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2009
Number of pages20
Original languageEnglish


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).