A pragmatic approach to multi-modality and non-normality in fixation duration studies of cognitive processes

Chie Nakatani, Cees van Leeuwen


Interpreting eye-fixation durations in terms of cognitive processing load is complicated by the multimodality of their distribution. An important source of multimodality is the distinction between single and multiple fixations to the same object. Based on the distinction, we separated a log-transformed distribution made to an object in non-reading task. We could reasonably conclude that the separated distributions belong to the same, general logistic distribution, which has a finite population mean and variance. This allowed us to use the sample means as dependent variables in a parametric analysis. Six tasks were compared, which required different levels of post-perceptual processing. A no-task control condition was added to test for perceptual processing. Fixation durations differentiated task-specific perceptual, but not post-perceptual processing demands.


task effects; multi-modality; non-normality; fixation duration distribution

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.16910/jemr.1.2.2


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