Artists' Eyes Rove Over Images


Following up on a fascinating eye-tracking study that showed that men’s gaze fixates on any visible crotches (male, female, human or animal) in photos, another eye-tracking study explores the differences between how artists and non-artists see the world.


Stine Vogt and Svein Magnussen showed 16 pictures including these two to trained artists and non-artists (psychologists) enrolled in Norway’s top graduate programs in their respective disciplines, using eye-tracking cameras and software to monitor where they looked. The viewers were unaware of the purpose of the test — they were told the study was about pupil size and response to pictures.

In the first phase of the experiment, viewers simply looked at each picture in random order, and in the second phase, they were asked to view the pictures again, but to concentrate in order to remember them.

Vogt and Magnussen defined key areas of each picture — small regions around focal objects such as human bodies or faces. This graph shows how often artists and non-artists looked at these areas… (more)