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Cereb Cortex. 2017 Jan 1;27(1):279-293. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw399.

Differential Contribution of Low- and High-level Image Content to Eye Movements in Monkeys and Humans.

Wilming N1,2,3,4,5, Kietzmann TC1,6, Jutras M2,3,5, Xue C7, Treue S7,8,9, Buffalo EA2,3,5, König P1,4.

Author information

1
Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany.
2
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
3
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.
4
Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
5
Washington National Primate Research Center, Seattle, WA 09195, USA.
6
Medical Research Council, Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge CB2 7EF, UK.
7
Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, German Primate Center - Leibniz-Institute for Primate Research, Goettingen, Germany.
8
Faculty of Biology and Psychology, Goettingen University, Goettingen, Germany.
9
Leibniz-ScienceCampus Primate Cognition, Goettingen, Germany.

Abstract

Oculomotor selection exerts a fundamental impact on our experience of the environment. To better understand the underlying principles, researchers typically rely on behavioral data from humans, and electrophysiological recordings in macaque monkeys. This approach rests on the assumption that the same selection processes are at play in both species. To test this assumption, we compared the viewing behavior of 106 humans and 11 macaques in an unconstrained free-viewing task. Our data-driven clustering analyses revealed distinct human and macaque clusters, indicating species-specific selection strategies. Yet, cross-species predictions were found to be above chance, indicating some level of shared behavior. Analyses relying on computational models of visual saliency indicate that such cross-species commonalities in free viewing are largely due to similar low-level selection mechanisms, with only a small contribution by shared higher level selection mechanisms and with consistent viewing behavior of monkeys being a subset of the consistent viewing behavior of humans.

KEYWORDS:

human macaque comparison; low-level salience; oculomotor control; overt visual attention

PMID:
28077512
PMCID:
PMC5942390
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhw399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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