Do the demands of coordinating eye movements add to the central demands of stimulus processing?

Stephanie Mace (2011). Do the demands of coordinating eye movements add to the central demands of stimulus processing? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Stephanie Mace
Thesis Title Do the demands of coordinating eye movements add to the central demands of stimulus processing?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Professor Roger Remington
Total pages 72
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Everyday activities such as typing or playing the piano require us to produce both a series of eye fixations, as well as corresponding manual responses. In order to understand how these eye and hand actions are coordinated with the internal perceptual, cognitive and motor processing, it is essential to establish whether the eye movements incur a processing cost. Current literature is divided on this issue. To examine the costs of eye movement, Experiment 1 involved twenty participants completing a simple sequence execution task where stimuli were presented either Concurrently across the screen, or Consecutively, one after the other, in the centre of the screen. Presentation times in the Consecutive condition were incrementally decreased from 600ms to 450, 350 and 250ms. If eye movements result in a processing cost then processing times in the Consecutive condition should be shorter than in the Concurrent condition. The results showed no decrease in the processing time for a given item that would indicate a cost when making eye movements. Experiment 2 involved nineteen participants completing the same sequence execution task, but limited the presentation times of each item to 350 and 450 ms for both presentation conditions. This was closer to the processing time for each item from the Consecutive condition of Experiment 1. Again, no difference in processing time was found. The results are therefore consistent with the hypothesis that eye movements do not contribute to the processing time required to complete choice response time tasks. The implications of the results for theories of stimulus execution are discussed.
Keyword Coordinating eye movements
Stimulus processing
Manual responses

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Created: Wed, 20 Jun 2012, 11:41:13 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology