We investigate the dynamic structure of human gaze and present an experimental study of the frequency components of the change in gaze position over time during free viewing of computer-generated fractal images. We show that changes in gaze position are scale-invariant in time with statistical properties that are characteristic of a random walk process. We quantify and track changes in the temporal structure using a well-defined scaling parameter called the Hurst exponent, H. We find H is robust regardless of the spatial complexity generated by the fractal images. In addition, we find the Hurst exponent is invariant across all participants, including those with distinct changes to higher order visual processes due to neural degeneration. The value we find for H of 0.57 shows that the gaze dynamics during free viewing of fractal images are consistent with a random walk process with persistent movements. Our research suggests the human visual system may have a common strategy that drives the dynamics of human gaze during exploration.
Marlow CA, Viskontas IV, Matlin A, Boydston C, Boxer A, Taylor RP (2015) Temporal Structure of Human Gaze Dynamics is Invariant During Free Viewing. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0139379. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139379