Eyetracking for two-person tasks with manipulation of a virtual world

Carletta, J., Hill, R. L., Nicol, G., Taylor, T., De Ruiter, J. P., & Bard, E. G. (2010). Eyetracking for two-person tasks with manipulation of a virtual world. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 254-265. doi:10.3758/BRM.42.1.254.
Eyetracking facilities are typically restricted to monitoring a single person viewing static images or pre-recorded video. In the present article, we describe a system that makes it possible to study visual attention in coordination with other activity during joint action. The software links two eyetracking systems in parallel and provides an on-screen task. By locating eye movements against dynamic screen regions, it permits automatic tracking of moving on-screen objects. Using existing SR technology, the system can also cross-project each participant's eyetrack and mouse location onto the other's on-screen work space. Keeping a complete record of eyetrack and on-screen events in the same format as subsequent human coding, the system permits the analysis of multiple modalities. The software offers new approaches to spontaneous multimodal communication: joint action and joint attention. These capacities are demonstrated using an experimental paradigm for cooperative on-screen assembly of a two-dimensional model. The software is available under an open source license.
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