Distinct roles for eye and head movements in selecting salient image parts during natural exploration

Wolfgang Einhäuser*, Frank Schumann, Johannes Vockeroth, Klaus Bartl, Moran Cerf, Jonathan Harel, Erich Schneider, Peter König

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


Humans adjust gaze by eye, head, and body movements. Certain stimulus properties are therefore elevated at the gaze center, but the relative contribution of eye-in-head and head-in-world movements to this selection process is unknown. Gaze- and head-centered videos recorded with a wearable device (EyeSeeCam) during free exploration are reanalyzed with respect to responses of a face-detection algorithm. In line with results on low-level features, it was found that face detections are centered near the center of gaze. By comparing environments with few and many true faces, it was inferred that actual faces are centered by eye and head movements, whereas spurious face detections ("hallucinated faces") are primarily centered by head movements alone. This analysis suggests distinct contributions to gaze allocation: head-in-world movements induce a coarse bias in the distribution of features, which eye-in-head movements refine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBasic and Clinical Aspects of Vertigo and Dizziness
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781573317177
StatePublished - May 2009

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Eye movements
  • Face
  • Natural scenes
  • Real-world behavior
  • Salience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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