The impact of music and stretched time on pupillary responses and eye movements in slow-motion film scenes

Keywords: eye tracking, gaze, pupillometry, saccades, fixations, blinks, pupil diameter, emotion, attention, perception, film music

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of music and playback speed on arousal and visual perception in slow-motion scenes taken from commercial films. Slow-motion scenes are a ubiquitous film technique and highly popular. Yet the psychological effects of mediated time-stretching compared to real-time motion have not been empirically investigated. We hypothesised that music affects arousal and attentional processes. Furthermore, we assumed that playback speed influences viewers’ visual perception, resulting in a higher number of eye movements and larger gaze dispersion. Thirty-nine participants watched three film excerpts in a repeated-measures design in conditions with or without music and in slow motion vs. adapted real-time motion (both visual-only). Results show that music in slow-motion film scenes leads to higher arousal compared to no music as indicated by larger pupil diameters in the former. There was no systematic effect of music on visual perception in terms of eye movements. Playback speed influenced visual perception in eye movement parameters such that slow motion resulted in more and shorter fixations as well as more saccades compared to adapted real-time motion. Furthermore, in slow motion there was a higher gaze dispersion and a smaller centre bias, indicating that individuals attended to more detail in slow motion scenes.
Published
20-05-2018
How to Cite
Hammerschmidt, D., & Wöllner, C. (2018). The impact of music and stretched time on pupillary responses and eye movements in slow-motion film scenes. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.16910/jemr.11.2.10
Section
Special Thematic Issue "Music and Eye Tracking"