Class 486
Quarter Spring
Year 2013
Project Contact Organization Physics Department, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Project Contact Email camarlow
Project Contact Name Dr. Colleen A. Marlow

Humans use their visual system as their primary way to gain information about their environment. Light is detected by the visual system via the pupil. The most effective way to sample the visual environment is for the pupil to make rapid movements across the visual field. These eye movements are directed by the brain’s visual center and can tell us something about the brain’s ability and strategy to acquire information. My work aims to connect the statistical behavior of human eye movements when viewing a scene to the underlying neural mechanisms at play. For instance, do the statistics of an image influence the statistics of eye movements? How do these statistics change when certain systems in the brain are damaged due to neural degeneration? By tracking the eye’s motion across different viewing scenarios and isolating whether the statistics of the eye movements change or remain robust, we may be able to gain a sense of how eye movements are related to higher level cognitive processing. Dr. Marlow is currently looking for interested students to work on a project this spring quarter where a spatial box-counting algorithm will be developed and applied to existing eye tracking data in order to quantify the spatial statistics of eye movement.