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Visual fixations, attentional detection, and syntactic perspective an expreimental investigation of the theoretical foundations of Russel S. Tomlin's fish film design

Diderichsen, Philip (2001)
Cognitive Science
Abstract
In the so-called fish film-experiment designed by the linguist Russell S. Tomlin it is tested whether the assignment of grammatical subject in on-line descriptive discourse production can be controlled by controlling the visual attentional detection of participants in a scene. It is an implicit assumption in the fish film framework that the point of optical focus is a good indicator of focal attention, and that attentional control can thus be gained by making test subjects look at a cued participant. This assumption has not previously been put to the test. In the present paper it is tested by comparing verbal fish film data with visual fixation data from children and adults. This reveals that there is actually no tight correspondence... (More)
In the so-called fish film-experiment designed by the linguist Russell S. Tomlin it is tested whether the assignment of grammatical subject in on-line descriptive discourse production can be controlled by controlling the visual attentional detection of participants in a scene. It is an implicit assumption in the fish film framework that the point of optical focus is a good indicator of focal attention, and that attentional control can thus be gained by making test subjects look at a cued participant. This assumption has not previously been put to the test. In the present paper it is tested by comparing verbal fish film data with visual fixation data from children and adults. This reveals that there is actually no tight correspondence between visual fixations and subject assignment, contrary to what would be expected. It is considered whether an apparent error in the fish film itself can be held responsible for this lacking correspondence. While the error compromises the control of visual

fixations, it is still possible to analyze the visual and verbal data for correspondences. Furthermore, it is found that a more traditional interpretation of the data in terms of information structure can be substituted for Tomlin's eye-language correspondence hypothesis in explaining the previous success of the fish film. It is concluded that Tomlin's hypothesis is not directly falsified by the pilot experiment, rather neutralized so that it may still, but not necessarily, be true. (Less)
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author
Diderichsen, Philip
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
numerical analysis, Computer science, fish film, Tomlin, Russel S., Eye-tracking, systems, control, Datalogi, numerisk analys, system, kontroll
language
English
id
1328992
date added to LUP
2006-04-26
date last changed
2009-04-20 11:11:04
@misc{1328992,
  abstract     = {In the so-called fish film-experiment designed by the linguist Russell S. Tomlin it is tested whether the assignment of grammatical subject in on-line descriptive discourse production can be controlled by controlling the visual attentional detection of participants in a scene. It is an implicit assumption in the fish film framework that the point of optical focus is a good indicator of focal attention, and that attentional control can thus be gained by making test subjects look at a cued participant. This assumption has not previously been put to the test. In the present paper it is tested by comparing verbal fish film data with visual fixation data from children and adults. This reveals that there is actually no tight correspondence between visual fixations and subject assignment, contrary to what would be expected. It is considered whether an apparent error in the fish film itself can be held responsible for this lacking correspondence. While the error compromises the control of visual

fixations, it is still possible to analyze the visual and verbal data for correspondences. Furthermore, it is found that a more traditional interpretation of the data in terms of information structure can be substituted for Tomlin's eye-language correspondence hypothesis in explaining the previous success of the fish film. It is concluded that Tomlin's hypothesis is not directly falsified by the pilot experiment, rather neutralized so that it may still, but not necessarily, be true.},
  author       = {Diderichsen, Philip},
  keyword      = {numerical analysis,Computer science,fish film,Tomlin,Russel S.,Eye-tracking,systems,control,Datalogi,numerisk analys,system,kontroll},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Visual fixations, attentional detection, and syntactic perspective an expreimental investigation of the theoretical foundations of Russel S. Tomlin's fish film design},
  year         = {2001},
}