Eye movements as a window to cognitive processes in the lab, VR, and the real world.

Peter König Professor at Universität Osnabrück, Germany

Abstract. Humans make billions of eye movements in their lifetime that intimately relate action and perception. Each of these entails a decision of how long to linger at a fixated location and where to look next. We use these to explore cognitive processes under well-controlled, closed loop laboratory conditions, in virtual reality and in real life setting. We dissect the contribution and dynamic interactions of stimulus dependent properties as captured by the concepts of saliency map and hazard functions, geometrical constraints like spatial bias and saccadic momentum and task dependent aspects. Furthermore, We demonstrate predictive signals across multiple levels of the visual hierarchy that differentiate between veridical and inferred sensory input. Finally, we characterize the exploration of dynamic visual scenes in VR in various contexts In summary, the measurement of eye movements is a powerful tools to uncover the inner processes serving human cognition.
Bio. Peter König has an education in Physics (diploma) and in Medicine. He has worked for many years with Wolf Singer at the Max-Planck Institute in Frankfurt, Gerald Edelman at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, and Kevan Martin / Rodney Douglas at the Institute of Neuroinformatics ETH/University Zürich. Finally, his research took him to the University of Osnabrück, where he is holding a chair in Neurobiopsychology at the Institute of Cognitive Science. His research focuses on embodied cognition and the neurophysiological basis of cognitive functions. This includes specifically multimodal integration and sensorimotor interactions. His 200 publications gathered more than 20.000 citations leading to an h-index of 60. Peter König is guest lecturer at the University of Hamburg and corresponding member of the „Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg“ and member of the Max-Planck School of Cognition. His research activities have bridged science and business by founding three start-up companies: „WhiteMatter Labs GmbH“, „feelSpace GmbH”, and “Scicovery GmbH“.

Vision for augmented humans

Päivi Majaranta Senior Research Fellow at Tampere University, Finland

Abstract. Eyeglasses once revolutionized human vision by offering an easy, non-invasive way to compensate for deficiencies in vision. Similarly, multimodal wearable technology may act as a facilitator to non-invasively augment human senses, action and cognition -- seamlessly, as if the enhancements were part of our natural abilities. In many scenarios, gaze plays a crucial role due to its unique capability to convey the focus of interest. Gaze has already been used in assistive technologies to compensate for impaired abilities. There are lessons learned that can be applied in human augmentation. In this talk, I will summarize how the research conducted over the past decades informs the quest for augmentation. I will discuss the role of gaze in multimodal interfaces and examine how different types of eye movements, together with other modalities, such as haptics, can support this intention. I will end with a call for research to realize the vision for an augmented human.
Bio. Päivi Majaranta is a Senior Research Fellow at Tampere University, Finland, where she teaches courses on human-technology interaction. Her research interests include gaze interaction, multimodal interfaces, user experience, animal-computer interaction. She holds M.Sc. in Computer Science (1998) and Ph.D. in Interactive Technology (2009) from the University of Tampere. Her doctoral thesis on Text entry by eye gaze won the award for the best Finnish PhD thesis in computer science in 2009, as well as the Tampere Science Foundation’s award for the best doctoral thesis of the year. She is the President of the COGAIN Association, a member of the ACM ETRA Steering Committee, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Eye Movement Research. She has over 60 peer-reviewed publications in the field of human-computer interaction, including e.g. the ETRA 2002 paper on Twenty years of eye typing, which is the second most cited paper in the history of ETRA.

Eye-Tracking as an implicit method in applied research settings

Philipp Reiter Partner & COO eye square GmbH

Abstract. Over the past two decades eye tracking has been introduced as a research method across many industries. Considered an implicit, even a neuro, research method, eye tracking is often regarded as one of the most important complementary methods in the applied research toolset. It is steadily becoming more popular as associated costs, both financial and logistical, continue to decrease, while the obvious benefits of measuring visual intake as a temporal precondition of most subsequent neural processes persist. Examples from the fields of marketing, user and shopper research show how versatile eye-tracking is used in these various settings, and how all three fields benefit from recent advances with the technology. Challenges still remain for researchers in applied fields to better understand human attention, to integrate eye tracking with other data sources and to analyze data collected in complex environments. The coming decade will show how advances in the automation of data analysis could make eye tracking even more popular.
Bio. Philipp Reiter is COO and partner at eye square, a pioneering implicit market research agency headquartered in Berlin, Germany. He is a qualified psychologist and specializes in cognitive information processing and implicit research methodologies. With over 20 years of experience in attention research, Philipp is particularly concerned with the optimal implementation and combination of innovative neuroscientific measures including eye-tracking, EEG, and EDA in User, Brand and Shopper research. At eye square, he is largely responsible for advising international clients. Philipp’s consulting expertise is frequently demonstrated at conferences worldwide and is regularly published in magazines. He is especially interested in advances in statistical methods that help to understand complex data structures with Structural Equation Modeling and Machine Learning algorithms. He is responsible for eye square’s scientific cooperation with university partners including Humboldt University and Leibniz University of Hannover, and is deeply motivated to bring science and market research closer together. Alongside his consulting work, Philipp enjoys teaching Business and Marketing Psychology and at the University of Applied Sciences Europe and the Design Academy Berlin.