Eye tracking

All of our experiments are reviewed and authorized by the Hungarian Egyesített Pszichológiai Kutatásetikai Bizottság (Unified Psychological Ethics Committee). Participation in all our studies in voluntary, and consent can be revoked at any stage of the experiment without justification.

Age range: 6-20 months

Question(s): Where do babies look on the screen at particular times as the events presented to them gradually unfold? What do they pay attention to during the videos, and for how long?

Assumption: In our environment, we mostly focus on things that are interesting, or that we deem relevant to the solution of a problem, and this seems to be no different with babies. With using an eye tracker, we can establish which particular details of the pictures the babies focus on at a given time: we can find out how long babies look at the details of images, or to what do they pay the most attention to. Using this information, we can get an insight into their understanding of the scenario.

Procedure: The eye tracker is built into the screen, and emits a completely harmless infrared light. It then measures the reflections of this light travelling back from the baby’s eyes, and it can thus determine where the baby is looking at a given point in time. We can later see the gaze of infant as a red or green dot (see: picture) moving on the screen – this indicates the exact locations the baby was looking at on the screen during the experiment.

Example: Are babies able to make a connection between a particular object and a body part? To explore this, babies were shown an image of a shoe, and afterwards, they were presented with a hand and a foot on the screen simultaneously. Do they look at the foot, and if so, do they look at it longer than the hand? In the case of 1 year old babies, it has been established that they are able to make connections between a glove and a hand, a spoon and a mouth, a telephone and an ear (Newsletter 2012).

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