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Behav Res Methods. 2013 Sep;45(3):842-56. doi: 10.3758/s13428-012-0299-5.

Recurrence quantification analysis of eye movements.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) has been successfully used for describing dynamic systems that are too complex to be characterized adequately by standard methods in time series analysis. More recently, RQA has been used for analyzing the coordination of gaze patterns between cooperating individuals. Here, we extend RQA to the characterization of fixation sequences, and we show that the global and local temporal characteristics of fixation sequences can be captured by a small number of RQA measures that have a clear interpretation in this context. We applied RQA to the analysis of a study in which observers looked at different scenes under natural or gaze-contingent viewing conditions, and we found large differences in the RQA measures between the viewing conditions, indicating that RQA is a powerful new tool for the analysis of the temporal patterns of eye movement behavior.

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