Visual attention and cognitive archaeology: an eye-tracking study of Palaeolithic stone tools

Silva-Gago, Maria, Ioannidou, Flora, Fedato, Annapaola , Hodgson, Timothy and Bruner, Emilano (2022) Visual attention and cognitive archaeology: an eye-tracking study of Palaeolithic stone tools. Perception . ISSN 0301-0066

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F03010066211069504

Documents
Visual attention and cognitive archaeology: an eye-tracking study of Palaeolithic stone tools
Authors' Accepted manuscript
[img]
[Download]
[img] Microsoft Word
SilvaGago_et_al_manuscript_accepted.docx - Whole Document

2MB
Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The study of lithic technology can provide information on human cultural evolution and can inform hypotheses in cognitive archaeology. The aim of this article is to analyze visual behavior associated with the exploration of ancient stone artefacts and how this relates to cognitive and perceptual mechanism in humans. In Experiment 1 we used eye tracking to record patterns of eye fixations while participants viewed images of Lower Paleolithic stone tools, including examples of worked pebbles and handaxes. The results showed that the focus of gaze was directed more towards the upper regions worked pebbles and on the basal areas for handaxes. Knapped surfaces also attracted more fixation than natural cortex for both tool types. Distribution of fixations during actual viewing was different to that predicted by models that calculate visual salience through analysis of image features. Experiment 2 was an online study using the mouse click attention tracking technique and included images of unworked pebbles and “mixed” images combining the outline shape of a handaxe with the unworked texture of a pebble. Overall, the findings suggest that visual exploration is directed towards functional aspects of tools, such as surfaces relevant for striking and grasping. It is concluded that studies of visual attention and exploration can therefore supply useful information to inform understanding of human cognitive evolution and tool use.

Keywords:saccades, saliency, Archaeology, vision, action affordances
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:47589
Deposited On:21 Jan 2022 11:04

Repository Staff Only: item control page