Our research is/has been supported by:

  • James S. MacDonnell Foundation Scholar Award: Understanding Human Cognition. 2012–2018.
  • ESRC studentship to Anna Nowakowska, 2014–2017.
  • BBSRC New Investigator Grant. 2010–2012.
  • Nuffield Foundation Small Grants Scheme. 2010.
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) postdoctoral and postgraduate student scholarships. 2000-2007.
  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research senior graduate student scholarship. 2004 – 2005.

Research

Strategy and bias in eye movements.

The stable world problem.

The relationship between attention and eye movements.

Attention to other people.

Are eye movements special?

Strategy and bias in eye movements (and other decisions).

Imagine searching for your house keys in a cluttered kitchen. Where you look will be determined by a number of factors, including which locations are plausible places for the keys to be, how cluttered the surfaces are, and whether the visual features in a location match the visual features of the thing you are looking for (i.e. the colour, shape and size of your set of keys). Once you’ve looked in one of these noticeable and/or plausible locations, it would be inefficient to go back to that same location again and again, and indeed we seem to be slower to respond to targets in locations we recently attended (Posner and Cohen, 1984). But debate continues about what determines the prioritising of locations during search, the mechanism through we actively inhibit locations after inspecting them, how exactly locations are encoded and maintained, and the degree to which mechanisms of facilitation and inhibition are automatic vs. strategic.

Further Reading:

Nowakowska, A., Clarke, A.D.F. & Hunt, A.R. (2017). Human visual search behaviour is far from ideal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science, 284: 20162767. link, and a summary for a public audience.

Nowakowska, A., Clarke, A.D.F., Sahraie, A., & Hunt, A.R. (2016). Inefficient search strategies in simulated hemianopia. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Clarke, A.D.F., Greene, P., Chantler, M.J. & Hunt, A.R. (2016). Human search for a target on a textured background is consistent with a stochastic model. Journal of Vision.link

Clarke, A.D.F. & Hunt, A.R. (2016). Failure of intuition when presented with a choice between investing in a single goal or splitting resources between two goals. Psychological Science.. 27, 64-74

Macinnes, W.J., Krueger, H.M. & Hunt, A.R. (2015). Just passing through: IOR in preplanned saccade sequences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance 39, 735–744.

Krueger, H.M. & Hunt, A.R. (2013). Inhibition of return across eye and object movements: the role of prediction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance 39, 735–744.

van Zoest, W., Hunt, A.R. & Kingstone, A. (2010). Emerging representations in visual cognition: It’s about time. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 116-120.

Hunt, A.R., van Zoest, W. & Kingstone, A. (2010). Attending to emerging representations: The importance of task context and time of response. In A.K. Nobre & J. Coull (Eds.) Attention and Time, pages 3-15. Oxford University Press.

Hunt, A.R., Olk, B., von Mühlenen, A., & Kingstone, A. (2004). Integration of competing saccade programs. Cognitive Brain Research, 19, 206-208.

Kingstone, A., Klein, R.M., Morein-Zamir, S., Hunt, A.R., Maxner, C. & Fisk, J. (2002). Orienting attention in aging and Parkinson's disease: distinguishing modes of control. The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 24, 951-967.

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The stable world problem.

The eyes move several times each second, and with each eye movement, the entire visual array moves across the retina. We have been exploring the processes (visual, attentional, and cognitive) that give rise our subjective sense of continuity across saccades, and our ability to keep track of locations when they move on the retina as a consequence of eye movements.

Further reading:

Macinnes, W.J. & Hunt, A.R. (2014). Attentional load interferes with target localisation across saccades. Experimental Brain Research 233, 3737-3748.

Krueger, H.M. & Hunt, A.R. (2013). Inhibition of return across eye and object movements: the role of prediction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance 39, 735–744.

Ritchie, K., Hunt, A.R., & Sahraie, A. (2012). Trans-saccadic priming in hemianopia: Sighted-field sensitivity is boosted by a blind-field prime. Neuropsychologia, 50, 997-105.

Hunt, A.R. & Cavanagh, P. (2011). Remapped visual masking. Journal of Vision, 11(1):13, 1-8. http://www.journalofvision.org/content/11/1/13/

Cavanagh, P., Hunt, A.R., Afraz, A., & Rolfs, M. (2010). Visual stability based on remapping of attention pointers. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14, 147-153.

Hunt, A.R. & Cavanagh, P. (2009). The perceived direction of gaze shifts before the eyes move. Journal of Vision 9(9):1, 1-7. http://journalofvision.org/9/9/1/

Hunt, A.R., Chapman, C.S. & Kingstone, A. (2008). Taking a long look at action and time perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 34, 125-136.

Chapman, C.S., Hunt, A.R. & Kingstone, A. (2007). Squeezing the uncertainty from saccadic compression. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 1:2, 1–4.

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The relationship between attention and eye movements.

Although the focus of attention is often yoked to eye movements, attention can also be directed away from the direction of gaze. This is known as covert attention. Premotor theory is an influential account of covert attention, which suggests in its strongest form that covert attention reflects eye movements that have been prepared but then suppressed. This idea has been hotly debated in the literature. Our research has demonstrated that covert visual attention is independent from eye movement preparation. Nonetheless, covert attention is clearly a critical factor in guiding motor decisions and output, including eye movements.

Further reading:

Cavanagh, P., Hunt, A.R., Afraz, A., & Rolfs, M. (2010). Visual stability based on remapping of attention pointers. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14, 147-153.

Hunt, A.R., von Mühlenen, A., & Kingstone, A. (2007). The timecourse of attentional and oculomotor capture reveals a common cause. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 33, 271–284.

Hunt, A.R. & Kingstone, A. (2003). Inhibition of return: Dissociating attentional and oculomotor components. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 29, 1068-1074.

Hunt, A.R. & Kingstone, A. (2003). Covert and overt voluntary attention: Linked or independent? Cognitive Brain Research, 18, 102-105.

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Attention to other people.

We have a tendency to orient attention to other people, and to rapidly and involuntarily process information about who they are and what they are doing. We are interested in how people use internal representations of social, emotional, and categorical information to impose organizations and priorities upon visual information, which they then use to direct their attention and select and control actions.

Further Reading:

Hungr, C. & Hunt, A.R. (2012). Physical self-similarity enhances the gaze cueing effect. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65 (7), 1250-1259.

Hunt, A.R., & Halper, F. (2008). Disorganizing biological motion. Journal of Vision, 8(9):12, 1-5, http://journalofvision.org/8/9/12/.

Hunt, A.R., Cooper, R.M., Hungr, C., & Kingstone, A. (2007). The effect of emotional faces on eye movements and attention. Visual Cognition, 15, 513–531.

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Are eye movements special?

Eye movements are frequently used in psychology research as a kind of “model system” for more complex behaviours. But eye movements are a unique motor system with special characteristics relative to other responses, including their faster speed and high frequency. Previous and continuing work has shed light on the degree to which conclusions based on eye movements can generalize to other response systems, and what this can tell us about these behaviours.

Further Reading:

Clarke, A.D.F. & Hunt, A.R. (in press). Failure of intuition when presented with a choice between investing in a single goal or splitting resources between two goals. Psychological Science.

van Zoest, W. & Hunt, A.R. (2011). Saccadic eye movements and perceptual judgments reveal a shared visual representation that is increasingly accurate over time. Vision Research, 51, 111-119.

van Zoest, W., Hunt, A.R. & Kingstone, A. (2010). Emerging representations in visual cognition: It’s about time. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 116-120.

Hunt, A.R., van Zoest, W. & Kingstone, A. (2010). Attending to emerging representations: The importance of task context and time of response. In A.K. Nobre & J. Coull (Eds.) Attention and Time, pages 3-15. Oxford University Press.

Hunt, A.R., Chapman, C.S. & Kingstone, A. (2008). Taking a long look at action and time perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 34, 125-136.

Hunt, A.R., von Mühlenen, A., & Kingstone, A. (2007). The timecourse of attentional and oculomotor capture reveals a common cause. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 33, 271–284.

Hunt, A.R., Ishigami, Y. & Klein, R.M. (2006). Eye movements, not hypercompatible mappings, are critical for eliminating the cost of task set reconfiguration. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 13, 932–937.

Hunt, A.R. & Klein, R.M. (2002). Eliminating the cost of task set reconfiguration. Memory and Cognition, 30, 529-539.

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