Zangemeister, W. H. und K.Sherman, L.Stark., in: G. Leidloff: "l o g - i n / l o c k e d  o u t", in: O. Breidbach, K. Clausberg und K.P. Dencker (Hg.): Video, ergo sum, Hamburg 1999


Scanpaths, the repetitive sequences of saccadic eye movements, occurred when subjects viewed slide projections of both realistic and abstract art. Variance analysis demonstrated that global/local eye movement indices were lower for local scanning by professional art viewers who replied on more global viewing, particularly in abstract images. Non-professional, unsophisticated subjects carried their local scanpath patterns from realistic images on to abstract images. The blink rate of professional subjects viewing abstract images was also significantly lower, indicating increased visual effort. Non-professional viewers showed no difference in blink rates.

Experiments included varied tasks given to cooperative subjects in the form of explicit, written instructions. The first task (E), or easy looking, was simply to look at the pictures without further instruction. The second task (R), or recollection, was to look at the works carefully in order to be able to remember them and recall their specific features. Afterwards the subjects had to describe the picture`s content and give some details on request. The third task (D), or detailed looking, was to look at the pictures carefully in regard to artistic details and to concentrate on aesthetic details. Subjects were then asked about their aesthetic impressions after each run. The subjects were unaware that their eye movements were being recorded, as they had been told that their pupil size was being measured. (...)

The subjects were placed approximately 1.15 m from the screen with the projected picture comprising a size of about 70 x 70 cm, allowing fairly good sized eye movements as would be necessary to cover the material on the screen with a vertical and horizontal visual angle of 35 in each plane for the presented pictures. Room lighting was dim (...) allowing the subjects` attention to be focused on the screen.

(Excerpt: W. H. Zangemeister, K.Sherman, L.Stark, Evidence For A Global Scanpath Strategy In Viewing Abstract Compared With Realistic Images, Neuropsychologia, Vol. 33, No. 8, pp. 1009-1025, 1995)