Global and local statistical regularities control visual attention to object sequences
Romberg, A., Zhang, Y., Newman, B., Triesch, J., & Yu, C.
Global and local statistical regularities control visual attention to object sequences. In Proceedings of the 2016 Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob)
Many previous studies have shown that both infants and adults are skilled statistical learners. Because statistical learning is affected by attention, learners' ability to manage their attention can play a large role in what they learn. However, it is still unclear how learners allocate their attention in order to gain information in a visual environment containing multiple objects, especially how prior visual experience (i.e., familiarly of objects) influences where people look. To answer these questions, we collected eye movement data from adults exploring multiple novel objects while manipulating object familiarity with global (frequencies) and local (repetitions) regularities. We found that participants are sensitive to both global and local statistics embedded in their visual environment and they dynamically shift their attention to prioritize some objects over others as they gain knowledge of the objects and their distributions within the task.