Evidence for a global scanpath strategy in viewing abstract compared with realistic images

W. H. Zangemeister, K. Sherman and L. Stark, Neuropsychologia Volume 33, Issue 8, August 1995, Pages 1009-1025, Abstract

Scanpaths, the repetitive sequences of saccadic eye movements, occurred when subjects viewed slide projections of both realistic and abstract art. Variance analysis demonstrated that global/local eye movement indices were lower for local scanning by professional art viewers who relied on more global viewing, particularly in abstract images. Non-professional, unsophisticated subjects carried their local scanpath patterns from realistic images on to abstract images. The blink rate of professional subjects viewing abstract images was also significantly lower, indicating increased visual effort. Non-professional viewers showed no difference in blink rates.