Deriving an appropriate baseline for describing fixation behaviour

Alasdair D. F. Clarke, Benjamin William Tatler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Humans display image-independent viewing biases when inspecting complex scenes. One of the strongest such bias is the central tendency in scene viewing: observers favour making fixations towards the centre of an image, irrespective of its content. Characterising these biases accurately is important for three reasons: (1) they provide a necessary baseline for quantifying the association between visual features in scenes and fixation selection; (2) they provide a benchmark for evaluating models of fixation behaviour when viewing scenes; and (3) they can be included as a component of generative models of eye guidance. In the present study we compare four commonly used approaches to describing image-independent biases and report their ability to describe observed data and correctly classify fixations across 10 eye movement datasets. We propose an anisotropic Gaussian function that can serve as an effective and appropriate baseline for describing image-independent biases without the need to fit functions to individual datasets or subjects. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalVision Research
Early online date29 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • eye tracking
  • central tendency
  • salience
  • fixation location
  • visual-attention
  • eye-movements
  • search
  • scenes
  • guidance
  • gaze
  • allocation
  • direction
  • features
  • vision


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