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Poster F39

Decoding ongoing thought patterns during incidental face recognition based on eye gaze behaviour

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Nerissa Ho1 (, Jonathan Smallwood2; 1University of Plymouth, 2Queen's University

Patterns of ongoing thought have well documented associations with tasks and activities in daily life, as well as a growing list of associations with neural processing. However, their associations with eye gaze is less well understood. The current study aimed to explore the association between different thought patterns and eye gaze behaviour by examining their associations to the locus of fixation during task processing. Using an incidental face recognition paradigm in conjunction with eye-tracking, we examined the relationship between different thought patterns and gaze fixations at predefined areas of interest (AOI), and compared the results under different task loading (low-load versus high-load) and face emotion (happy versus angry) conditions using linear mixed modelling. Results suggested that task loading significantly predicted gaze fixation at task stimuli [F(1, 683.926) = 8.717, P = 0.000], target cue [F(1, 683.556) = 308.245, P = 0.000] and off AOI/screen areas [F(1, 683.646) = 113.919, P = 0.000]. Gaze fixations at task stimuli, in turn, significantly predicted distractive thoughts [F(1, 725.905) = 10.505, P = 0.001]. Finally, face emotion significantly predicted fixation at the mouth area [F(1, 684.095) = 7.343, P = 0.007], which in turn, predicted thoughts focused on social imagery [F(1, 705.881) = 8.717, P = 0.003]. In sum, our results provide preliminary evidence that, in conjunction with environmental conditions, patterns of thought can be predicted by gaze fixation patterns.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial


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April 13–16  |  2024