We describe the pattern of fixations of subjects looking at figurative and abstract paintings from different artists (Molina, Mondrian, Rembrandt, della Francesca) and at modified versions in which different aspects of these art pieces were altered with simple digital manipulations. We show that the fixations of the subjects followed some general common principles (e.g., being attracted to saliency regions) but with a large variability for the figurative paintings, according to the subject’s personal appreciation and knowledge. In particular, we found different gazing patterns depending on whether the subject saw the original or the modified version of the painting first. We conclude that the study of gazing patterns obtained by using the eye-tracker technology gives a useful approach to quantify how subjects observe art.
Keywords: eye-tracker, art, mondrian, rembrandt, visual perception
Citation: Quiroga RQ and Pedreira C (2011) How do we see art: an eye-tracker study. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 5:98. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00098
Received: 22 March 2011; Accepted: 22 August 2011;
Published online: 12 September 2011.
Edited by:Luis M. Martinez, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, CSIC-Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Spain
Reviewed by:Mariano Sigman, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Copyright: © 2011 Quiroga and Pedreira. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.
*Correspondence: Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, LE1 7RH, Leicester, UK. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org