Abstract: Spatial orientation is an important task in human wayfinding. Existing research indicates sex‐related similarities and differences in performance and strategies when executing spatial orientation behaviors, but few studies have investigated the similarities and differences in visual behaviors between males and females. To address this research gap, we explored visual behavior similarities and differences between males and females using an eye‐tracking method. We recruited 40 participants to perform spatial orientation tasks in a desktop environment and recorded their eye‐tracking data during these tasks. The results indicate that there are no significant differences between sexes in efficiency and accuracy of spatial orientation. In terms of visual behaviors, we found that males fixated significantly longer than females on roads. Males and females had similar fixation counts in building, signpost, map, and other objects. Males and females performed similarly in fixation duration for all five classes. Moreover, fixation duration was well fitted to an exponential function for both males and females. The base of the exponential function fitted by males’ fixation duration was significantly lower than that of females, and the coefficient difference of exponential function was not found. Females were more effective in switching from maps to signposts, but differences of switches from map to other classes were not found. The newfound similarities and differences between males and females in visual behavior may aid in the design of better human centered outdoor navigation applications.
To cite this paper:
Dong, W.; Zhan, Z.; Liao, H.; Meng, L.; Liu, J. Assessing Similarities and Differences between Males and Females in Visual Behaviors in Spatial Orientation Tasks. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 115.
Abstract:While a road pattern influences wayfinding and navigation, its influence on the gaze behaviours of navigating pedestrians is not well documented. In this study, we compared gaze behaviour differences between regular and irregular road patterns using eye-tracking technology. Twenty-one participants performed orientation (ORI) and shortest route selection (SRS) tasks with both road patterns. We used accuracy of answers and response time to estimate overall performance and time to first fixation duration, average fixation duration, fixation count and fixation duration to estimate gaze behaviour. The results showed that participants performed better with better accuracy of answers using irregular road patterns. For both tasks and both road patterns, the Label areas of interest (AOIs) (including shops and signs) received quicker or greater attention. The road patterns influenced gaze behaviour for both Road AOIs and Label AOIs but exhibited a greater influence on Road AOIs in both tasks. In summary, for orientation and route selection, users are more likely to rely on labels, and roads with irregular patterns are important. These findings may serve as the anchor point for determining how people’s gaze behaviours differ depending on road pattern and indicate that labels and unique road patterns should be highlighted for better wayfinding and navigation.
To site this paper:
Liu, B.; Dong, W.; Zhan, Z.; Wang, S.; Meng, L. Differences in the Gaze Behaviours of Pedestrians Navigating between Regular and Irregular Road Patterns. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 45.
Abstract:Landmark visual salience (characterized by features that contrast with their surroundings and visual peculiarities) and semantic salience (characterized by features with unusual or important meaning and content in the environment) are two important factors that affect an individual’s visual attention during wayfinding. However, empirical evidence regarding which factor dominates visual guidance during indoor wayfinding is rare, especially in real-world environments. In this study, we assumed that semantic salience dominates the guidance of visual attention, which means that semantic salience will correlate with participants’ fixations more significantly than visual salience. Notably, in previous studies, semantic salience was shown to guide visual attention in static images or familiar scenes in a laboratory environment. To validate this assumption, first, we collected the eyemovement data of 22 participants as they found their way through a building. We then computed the landmark visual and semantic salience using computer vision models and questionnaires, respectively. Finally, we conducted correlation tests to verify our assumption. The results failed to validate our assumption and show that the role of salience in visual guidance in a real-world wayfinding process is different from the role of salience in perceiving static images or scenes in a laboratory. Visual salience dominates visual attention during indoor wayfinding, but the roles of salience in visual guidance are mixed across different landmark classes and tasks. The results provide new evidence for understanding how pedestrians visually interpret landmark information during real-world indoor wayfinding.
To site this paper:
(2019) Comparing the roles of landmark visual salience and semantic salience in visual guidance during indoor wayfinding, Cartography and Geographic Information Science.