Unsupervised Thinking
a podcast about neuroscience, artificial intelligence and science more broadly

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Episode 25: What Can Eye Movements Tell Us About The Mind?

You move your eyes several times a second, making choices about what to attend to without even noticing. That is a lot of behavioral data that scientists could use to understand underlying computations, preferences, memories, and intentions. On this episode, we talk about just such endeavors to understand cognition by monitoring eye movements. Eye movements are a comparatively easy thing to measure (though as we discuss, some of the older methods seemed like torture devices), and can be used in a wide range of settings: in animals and babies, in the lab or in the wild. In this episode, Josh regals us with tales of using a modern eye-tracking device at a conference, and we talk about the basic findings you can discover from that and exactly how surprising or interesting they are. We then get into how tasks influence eye movements and the many forms of memory that eye movements can measure, including differences between novices and experts. We top it all off with a delightful study about looking at porn, and some speculations about how eye-tracking could be used in the future. 
We read:

Eye movements in natural behavior

Worth a Glance: Using Eye Movements to Investigate the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

Sex differences in viewing sexual stimuli: An eye-tracking study in men and women

A Breadth-First Survey of Eye Tracking Applications 

And watched some cool eye-tracking videos!
What Does a Pianist See? 
The Science of Dating

To listen to (or download) this episode, (right) click here

As always, our jazzy theme music "Quirky Dog" is courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 

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