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Describing Art - An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Effects of Speaking on Gaze Movements during the Beholding of Paintings

Klein, C. and Betz, J. and Hirschbuehl, M. and Fuchs, C. and Schmiedlova, B. and Engelbrecht, M. and Mueller-Paul, J. and Rosenberg, R. (2014) Describing Art - An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Effects of Speaking on Gaze Movements during the Beholding of Paintings. PLoS One, 9 (12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102439

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Abstract

Ever since the Renaissance speaking about paintings has been a fundamental approach for beholders, especially experts. However, it is unclear whether and how speaking about art modifies the way we look at it and this was not yet empirically tested. The present study investigated to the best of our knowledge for the first time in what way speaking modifies the patterns of fixations and gaze movements while looking at paintings. Ninety nine university students looked at four paintings selected to cover different art historical typologies for periods of 15 minutes each while gaze movement data were recorded. After 10 minutes, the participants of the experimental group were asked open questions about the painting. Speaking dramatically reduced the duration of fixations and painting area covered by fixations while at the same time increasing the frequencies of fixations, gaze length and the amount of repeated transitions between fixation clusters. These results suggest that the production of texts as well-organised sequences of information, structures the gazes of art beholders by making them quicker, more focused and better connected.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 04:32
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 16:40
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/6350
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102439
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLOS)
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