Using infrared eye tracking to study infant behavior



Using infrared eye tracking to study infant behavior
Susan Schantz is fascinated with utilizing the infrared eye scanning approach to study the influence of prenatal exposures on cognitive improvement in infants. Credit: Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

A brand new study from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology describes how present infrared know-how could be tailored to measure recognition reminiscence and different cognitive outcomes in infants.

The study demonstrated that the eye tracking know-how and computer-controlled stimulus presentation could be efficiently used to automate assessments of infant wanting behaviors to measure particular cognitive capabilities. The outcomes have been comparable to these present in earlier research utilizing nonautomated methods. The outcomes additionally help the speculation that infants have facet and stimulus preferences that have an effect on their efficiency on particular .

The study “Characterization of performance on an automated visual recognition memory task in 7.5-month-old infants” was printed in Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

“Traditionally, eye-tracking studies require you to keep your head still and avoid any movement so that the eye tracker can work properly,” stated Andrea Aguiar, a analysis assistant professor of comparative biosciences on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This is not a feasible method when you study infants. Additionally, we needed an automated approach that was not subjected to individual examiners’ biases.”

Typically, behavior research on infants are carried out within the presence of skilled examiners who want to resolve the place the infants are wanting. Unfortunately, this strategy is problematic as a result of there may be plenty of variation throughout examiners. Using the infrared eye tracker eliminates that variation.

“We have the infants sit on their mom’s lap and ask the mom to look down at the baby’s head and remain neutral. We then display pictures of faces and shapes on a big screen and calibrate the eye tracker,” stated Francheska M. Merced-Nieves, a former graduate scholar within the Children’s Environmental Health Research Center. “The infants put on a goal sticker in the midst of their brow and the measures the gap between the sticker and their cornea.”

The targets of the study have been to characterize infant wanting behavior measures together with facet desire, fixation length, and novelty desire utilizing eye tracking and an automatic model of a longtime approach that features each human faces and geometric figures as stimuli. More than 300 infants, that are a part of the continued Illinois Kids Development Study, have been assessed utilizing the automated approach.

In accordance with prior research, the researchers noticed that the infants spent an extended time taking a look at novel stimuli, indicating that they like these photos. “We also confirmed the idea that most babies have a natural tendency to look toward their right side. Interestingly, when they were looking at the faces, they preferred looking at the eyes compared to the rest of the face,” stated Susan Schantz, a professor emeritus of comparative biosciences and the director of the middle.

Researchers use infrared eye tracking know-how to measure cognitive behavior. Credit: Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

The researchers hope to use this method to have a look at the influence of varied prenatal exposures on cognitive improvement in infants. Currently, they’re fascinated with measuring how maternal stress impacts early cognition.

“We show the babies images and see how long they focus on them before looking away,” Merced-Nieves stated. “We saw that higher maternal stress was associated with lower focus, which would indicate problems with attention.”

Unfortunately the system is dear, however the researchers hope that the comfort and flexibility afforded by a cell eye-tracking that they’ve designed will encourage different epidemiological analysis teams to undertake their technique and paradigm. The cell check unit, which could be arrange in lower than 30 minutes, replicates the setting within the researchers’ Beckman infant lab; thus permitting researchers in very completely different settings to check underneath comparable situations.

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More info:
Kelsey L.C. Dzwilewski et al, Characterization of efficiency on an automatic visible recognition reminiscence activity in 7.5-month-old infants, Neurotoxicology and Teratology (2020). DOI: 10.1016/

Using infrared eye tracking to study infant behavior (2020, August 14)
retrieved 14 August 2020

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