Day 23

Today was another productive day.  We had a couple more test subjects, but I spent most of today writing the paper for our first project.  Lizzy and I made a lot of progress on it today.  In fact, we are almost done with the first draft of the paper-we just have to finish the conclusion and the abstract.  Since this is my first real research paper I’ve ever written, I’m a little worried, but when we finish it, Susan will help us revise it.

I also helped Vic with her project.  I used the BeGaze program to “code” certain key areas in various pictures.  I told the program what the subject in the video was fixating at, and eventually, the program is supposed to recognize what the subject is fixating at based on the previous information it was given.  However, the program was not very good at guessing where the subject wa fixating at.  I think this is due to the poor quality of the image in the video (in the video, the subject is looking at a picture and the picture is hard to see), and the small size of the image in the video.

I also looked at some of the scan path videos for my individual project and counted the number of regressions.  I have regression data for 4 test subjects and we have over 20 test subjects and counting.  Counting the number of regressions is very time consuming, but I hope to get regression data for all the test subjects before my presentation.

Lizzy and I confirmed that we will do the background information part of the presentation together because our background information is basically the same.  We also had Susan look over our abstracts and I send a finalized copy of my abstract to Bethany, although the results may still change as we are still collecting data.


Day 22

Today was actually super busy.  Lizzy and I had a lot more test subjects largely thanks to Bob sending out a mass email to the building (thanks Bob!).  We have about 20 data sets we can actually use, and about half of those are adults, so I can compare teens and adults in my presentation (yay).

Susan also told Lizzy and I to write a lab report on the first project we did this summer.  We started it, but we still have a ways to go.

I also analyzed the data I had so far.  The trends are the same as I expected, but they might change because we are still testing people.  I submitted my abstract, but I’m worried that it’s not good enough, mostly because my data isn’t ready yet, so the results portion of my abstract may change between now and the presentation.

Susan also suggested that I look at regressions in addition to fixations and saccades.  Regressions are when a people makes a backwards saccade, and are generally measures of how difficult a reading is.  According to Keith Rayner, about 15% of saccades are regressions in a normal reading.  I really liked that idea, but the problem is that the BeGaze doesn’t count regressions, so to get regression data, I would have to play each scan path video and count all the regressions myself.  Although I may not have time to count all of them, I will definitely look into it and mention the forimg pattern in my presentation.

I taught a person in my lab how to use the Gazetag program (the program Jeff showed me yesterday).  I tried to teach the program to recognize a doctor, and his two patients-a man and a woman sitting next to each other.  I got the program to recognize the doctor and woman pretty consistently, but it kept thinking the male patient was the woman.  Silly program.  I will be working with this program morein the future, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Day 21

Today, I look at some research by Keith Rayner, who is known for his studies on eye tracking and reading.  The font was really small, so I had a hard time getting through it.

Later, Jeff showed me a program where you can make it recognize what a person is fixating at by organizing a library of pictures for it to compare the fixation to.  Lizzy and I also determined that we need more test subjects.  We would like about 50, although that number may not be plausible given the time frame.

Day 20

So, today, a couple people came to take our test, but we can’t use some of the data because of permission slips (that should be remedied quickly).  I started to analyze the data first thing in the morning, but then, I realized it was kind of pointless analyzing data when not all the data was in yet, so I stopped.

The barbecue was fun, as always.  I’m so sad that this is our last one.  The volleyball was great as well, especially towards the end.  We also discovered that Maryam is a beast at volleyball, even though she has never played competitively.

Afterwards, I got bored, so I analyzed the data anyways.  It didn’t take me that long, mostly because Microsoft Excel is amazing, and although the SMI is really inaccurate, it was awesome statistical capabitilies.  Here is the data I analyzed: For clarification, Fixations=when a person stares at something, and Saccades=when a person moves their eyes.

Teens Easy Medium Difficult
Average Length of Trial (seconds) 61.14 71.48 120.85
Average Number of Fixations 190.1  213.8  299 
Fixations per Second 3.21  3.09  2.64 
Average Duration of Fixations (ms) 213.35  228.09  262.1 
Average Length of Saccades (cm) 3.93 3.69 2.97
Adults Easy Medium Difficult
Average Length of Trial (seconds) 86.81 122.23 173.03
Average Number of Fixations 278  255  483 
Fixations per Second 3.2  2.1  2.8 
Average Duration of Fixations (ms) 223.4  198.2  201 
Average Length of Saccades (cm) 3.00 1.75 1.68

So far, the data matches my predictions (more and longer fixations, shorter saccades as the difficulty increases, and change in teens is less than change in adults), except for the Average Duration of Fixations for adults.  Then again, I have 10 teens and 1 adult that I can legally analyze data for, so this data is probably skewed.

So, the bottom line is, we need more test subjects!

Day 19

Today, we had Bob do our test.  I’m glad I now have at least one adult for my project.  We also recorded our respective statistics and exported videos of scans.  I made a data table with all the statistics I will be using, although the data itself will change when we get more subjects.

In other news, I managed to “lose” my keycard, have a mini panic attack, and find it again within the span of about two hours.

Day 18

Today, we had quite a few interns come to be test subjects.  The people with glasses were a lot more difficult to calibrate as opposed to the people without glasses.

I taught myself how to find the statistics on the BeGaze program, and I plan on using some of the statistics as results for my presentation.  I also made AOIs (Areas of Interest) on the BeGaze program, although it did not give me much data-I will probably need to change the AOIs when we get more test subjects.

Right now, my biggest concern is that I won’t get enough adult test subjects to compare the adults’ data and kids’ data.  However, we have only been testing people for one day, so hopefully some adults will be willingly to be test subjects in the near future.  If not, I will probably have enough data to present without this aspect of the project.  *fingers crossed*  



  • Title
    • Analyzing Differences in Reading Patterns of Teens and Adults (1)
  • Background Information (5)
    • Neuroplasticity (1)
    • Wearable Eye Trackers (1)
    • Dual Purkinje Eye Tracker (1)
    • Remote Eye Tracker (1)
    • Eye Movements-Saccades and Fixations (1)
  • Experiment Procedure (~5)
    • The Task (1)
    • The Experiment- How I did it (2-3)
    • The Experiment- Why I did it this way (1)
  • Data Analysis (~6)
    • Graphs/Data Tables (3-4)
    • Analysis-What does the data mean (2-3)
  • Conclusions (3)
    • Problems (1)
    • Conclusion (1)
    • Acknowledgements (1)