Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik
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What and Who
Title:1. The role of gaze and pupil diameter in understanding audience engagement / 2. The Role of Attention and Perception During Multimedia Learning. A Dynamical Perspective
Speaker:1. Eakta Jain / 2. Krzysztof Krejtz
coming from:1. Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida / 2. University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw
Speakers Bio:1. Eakta Jain is an Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She received her PhD and MS degrees in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, working in the Graphics Lab. Her B.Tech. degree is in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. She has worked in industrial research at Texas Instruments R&D labs, Disney Research Pittsburgh, and the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Research at Jain Lab is funded through faculty research awards from Facebook/Oculus and Google/YouTube, and the National Science Foundation.


Event Type:Talk
Visibility:D2, D4, SWS, RG1, MMCI
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Level:Public Audience
Date, Time and Location
Date:Thursday, 21 June 2018
Duration:90 Minutes
Building:E1 4
1. Storytellers and artists understood the attention economy long before it became a Silicon Valley buzzword. They understood that directing the viewers attention is a necessary ingredient in storytelling. They also understood that simply getting the viewer to look is not enough, the viewer must also engage with what they see. Eye-tracking allows for a “two for the price of one” approach to collect data from users. With a single lightweight, non-intrusive sensor, we can collect both gaze and pupil diameter measurements. Gaze data tells us where on the screen was the viewer looking (actor A versus actor B, for example). Pupil diameter changes are indicative of user engagement (pupils dilate when experiencing fear or surprise, for example). I will present an overview of some of our recent and ongoing projects on gaze-driven video editing, eye-tracking based user engagement, and eye-tracking based insights into user attention on webpages.

2. Cognitive theories of multimedia learning (e.g., Cognitive - Affective Model of Learning with Media by Moreno et al., 2005) emphasize as central the role of attention and perception for searching, selecting, and integrating new information. The process of visual attention can be described in terms of the dynamical interplay between spacial orienting and deep cognitive processing.

Several two-stage models of visual information processing have been proposed (e.g., James, 1890; Neisser, 1967; Treisman & Gelade, 1980). The first, pre-attentive stage is held to be spatially parallel and to involve the computation of simple perceptual features (ambient attention). The second is held to be spatially serial, enabling complex visual representations (involving combinations of features) to be computed and processed (focal attention).  The latter stage in learning situations allows for deeper information processing, storage, and retrieval, fostering integration with the learner's current knowledge. 

Recent literature (e.g., Velichkovsky et al., 2005; Krejtz et al., 2012, 2014) links dynamical features of ambient and focal attentional stages with certain characteristics of eye movements. Furthermore, a statistical coefficient of ambient/focal eye movements, developed by Krejtz et al. 2012, gives a straightforward depiction of the dynamics of visual information processing allowing its better understanding and suggesting a method for influencing learners' attention for improved learning outcomes. 

During the talk a theoretical background for the interplay of ambient/focal attention and its role in visual information processing is going to be presented, followed by empirical validation of eye movement characteristics reflecting these dynamics, and its sensitivity to top-down and bottom-up processes implicated in learning, especially when doing so with multimedia materials. Finally, I will present and discuss results of empirical studies demonstrating the validity of different techniques  influencing ambient/focal dynamics during learning for improving its outcomes.
Name(s):Ellen Fries
EMail:--email address not disclosed on the web
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Ellen Fries/MPI-INF, 06/20/2018 09:50 AM
Last modified:
Uwe Brahm/MPII/DE, 06/21/2018 07:01 AM
  • Ellen Fries, 06/20/2018 09:57 AM -- Created document.