Using Eye Tracking to Reveal Responses to the Built Environment and Its Constituents

Hernan J. Rosas

Ann Sussman

Abigail C. Sekely

Alexandros A. Lavdas

Eye-tracking technology has numerous applications in both commercial and research contexts. The recent introduction of affordable wearable sensors has significantly broadened the scope of potential uses, spanning fields such as computer gaming, education, entertainment, health, neuromarketing, and psychology, among others. Another development is the use of downloadable software, which permits participants to record their responses to presented images with the use of calibrated webcams without leaving their homes, allowing for easier recruitment of larger numbers of study volunteers online. This paper reviews findings from seven Building Studies conducted by the Human Architecture + Planning Institute with iMotions-Online eye-tracking software, highlighting the significance of the new technology and its ability to assess the human experience of the built environment, as well as its limitations. Overall, images with a certain type of organized complexity, such as that found in nature and pre-modern architecture, attracted the gaze faster and kept it for significantly longer, as compared to images lacking these features. These results add to our existing knowledge about environmental complexity and give us insights into non-conscious and early conscious actions such as first gaze attraction, helping us understand the role of specific morphological features in the architectural/environmental experience.

This publication uses Eye Tracking, Eye Tracking Glasses, Eye Tracking Webcam and Facial Expression Analysis which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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