How Fast can Predictability influence Word Skipping during Reading? ECEM Poster 2011 Marseille

From the 21st to the 25th August 2011 I am attending the European Conference on Eye Movements in Marseille. I am presenting a poster on the topic of word skipping and predictability. Below is a link to a pdf of the poster.

PDF –  How Fast can Predictability influence Word Skipping during Reading?

Fitzsimmons, G. & Drieghe, D. (2011, August). How Fast can Predictability influence Word Skipping during Reading? Poster presented at the European Conference on Eye Movements, Marseille, France.

The Influence of Number of Syllables on Word Skipping During Reading.

Today I have seen the paper copy of my first publication. It may have had slight administrative hiccups (i.e. published missing the abstract *facepalm*), but it’s still a nice thing to see! I have page numbers and everything! I’m easily pleased.

Fitzsimmons, G., & Drieghe, D. (2011). The Influence of Number of Syllables on Word Skipping During Reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 736-741.

Very early on Saturday morning I will be making my way to Marseille for the European Conference on Eye Movements. My first time abroad and my first poster, scary stuff. As long as I don’t miss the plane or lose my poster I will count it as a successful trip.

A scheduled post is set to become live on Tuesday 23rd August (the day of my poster) and it will include the reference and a link to a PDF of the poster. That blog post will also be linked from the poster in the form of a rather geeky QR code. It had to be done!


Paper accepted! W00t!

Fitzsimmons, G., & Drieghe, D. (in press). The influence of number of syllables on word skipping during reading. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

Very pleased about this of course! I just need to get my dissertation out of the way and I can celebrate! 😀


Exactly where should I begin

I’ve had one of those weekends when you feel really crumby and just sleep and melt into a non-existance. I’m feeling better now…in time for Monday morning ofc 😛

I’ve been watching lots of dvd’s this weekend and I’ve got back into watching excessive amounts of X-files after Channel One was axed by Sky last week. Where will I get my Star Trek fix now?! Bah! I was really enjoying watching the old early 90’s episodes, they were super cheesy.

I’ve also been listening to David Ford constantly, my LastFm account makes me look a bit obsessive. :s

I also developed a fascination with subtitles. I dry my hair in front of the TV in the living room. If I dry my hair upstairs the room gets to hot and I keel over. My hair is getting long and taking ages to dry so I’ve been putting the news on with subtitles while I dry my hair. Everyday without fail there are always mistakes in the subtitles. Some are just silly and don’t make sense, but sometimes you get a word that is wrong that changes the whole meaning of the segment and totally throw me. The best one occurred this morning:

“The floods are already effecting poems in Australia.”

After my double take I saw that ‘poems’ should have been ‘homes’, but my brain had already decided that all these Australian poets were writing lots about the floods. It made perfect sense. The floods are horrible and I assume poets will write about them, but I doubt that would make international news…shame really. I’d love to see more on the poetry of subtitles.

You saw me in silhouette

A brief update is needed since I have recklessly abandoned this blog in a whirlwind of coursework and exams!

1. I changed my surname. I am now Gemma Fitzsimmons, cool huh? 😛

2. Due to this and the hi-jacking of my previous domain to a more casual blog I have a new domain to match my new name! Professional and functional.

3. I have finished and handed in my literature review. It was horrible, but I think it went well in the end!

4. I am almost finished programming my experiment for my research project. I’m ahead of where I should be for once. Where did my procrastinating self go? I’m sure it’ll turn up somewhere soon.

5. I have started to work on the application process for postgraduate fun timez. My CV makes me sounds awesome, now it is just my personal statement that I have to jazz up. Does anyone else feel sick writing how great they are over and over? It’s gross.

6. The pink/purple hair has returned…

That’s about it for my current circumstances. I have plenty of posts as drafts to help people with the setting up and programming on eye tracking experiments, but I don’t have the time right now to polish them up for the world to see unfortunately. I’ll sort it out in the summer…as long as I’m still staying on in psychology academia. If I’m working in a crumby office job, I probably won’t finish be motivated to finish the posts. Fingers crossed I will still be around though!

I also have an awesome little PHP script for creating sentence based stimuli with the correct interest areas for Experiment Builder experiments. It’s my little baby. It’s not fit for public use, unless you know PHP. But if you want some stimuli made it wouldn’t take me long to hack my script to met any sentence stimuli generation needs. I’ve called it the Gemerator! See what I did there?

I worry about my sanity sometimes…only sometimes.

How to Turn on, Set Up and Run an Experiment on the Eyelink 1000

Document for download —> How to Eyelink 1000

Text from document below.


How to : Turn on, set up and run an experiment on the Eyelink eyetracker


Turn it on.


Turn on power to plug sockets.


Press On buttons on the host and the display PC and wait for them to load.


On Host PC type D and Enter.


On Display PC click on the Eyelink username.


Both should now be loaded and ready to run the experiment.


Load experiment


Transfer experiment to Display PC, or locate it on the hard drive.


You will want to run the deployed version of your experiment; this is normally the icon of a large blue eye. Just double click it to run the experiment.


Check camera focus and light levels


The Camera Setup will be a blank screen on the Display PC to begin with.


Press Enter to see the participant’s eye on the screen.


Press the Right arrow key to zoom in on the eye


From this screen you can see if the lens needs to be focused, you do this by gently turning the top edge of the camera lens, do not touch the actual lens, only the sides. The lens is focused when the image is crisp and you can make out the eyelashes clearly.


Once focused you can press A on the keyboard to auto adjust the light levels.


Now get the participant to look at the four corners of the screen and make sure the tracker has there pupil while they look at all four corners. If this is fine you can move onto calibration. If it is not fine then reposition the participant and the camera again from the beginning and try again.




To calibrate a participant press C on the keyboard, or click on Calibrate under Camera Setup on the Host PC.


Dependent on your calibration type you will see a dot on the display PC either in the centre or at the edge.


For the calibration you need to ask the participant to look at the first dot and then look at each dot as they appear.


Press the Spacebar to begin calibration, the dots will appear and disappear and on the Host PC you will see crosses indicating the dot fixations.


If it looks ok you can accept the calibration by either pressing Enter on the keyboard or Accept on the Host PC screen.




Now you can validate the calibration either by pressing V or by pressing Validate on the Host PC under Camera Setup.


A similar thing will happen as in the calibration, dots will appear which the participant has to follow. You will see on the Host PC screen that there are number next to each fixation which tells you the quality of the calibration, the error of the visual angle. Dependent on your type of study you will need to know the tolerance of this (*see below). If this looks ok you can accept the validation either by pressing Enter or Accept on the Host PC.


Your participant is now calibrated and ready to take part in the experiment.


Start Experiment


To start either press O or Output/Record on the host PC.


*Dependent on your type of study you will need to know the tolerance of your calibration, the error of the visual angle. You want to be sure that what the eye tracker is recording is what your participant is actually looking at. For most visual search studies this will be 0.5 (half a visual angle), but for reading boundary experiments you may want closer to 0.33(1/3 of a visual angle). This is because 1 visual angle is normally 3 characters on the screen and you want to be able to distinguish between each character accurately.



Stone Henge

Summer Solstice at Stone Henge. Twas awesome! Had a lovely BBQ beforehand and got to Stone Henge after sunset to be greeted by giant silver sun/moon man! (That’s the moon in the background)

Image heavy so…

Read the full article »

Extraneous details

I had an awesome time in London. Saw David Devant & His Spirit Wife, which was an great gig, even the support (The Bikini Beach Band) were good!  Really had fun! If I could see them again tomorrow I would go again! The next day I did the usual shopping for things and sightseeing. Finally managed to go to the Tate which I’ve wanted to do for ages. My feet are about ready to fall off with the amount of walking I’ve done in the last few days. I didn’t want to leave though! 🙁

Summer Solstice this weekend and I’m off to Stone Henge for it. It will be the first time I’ve been so that’ll be interesting, hoping it won’t rain! Almost looks like I have a social life eh?

Tomorrow I will be catching up on on my work I’ve not been doing and should be, doh!

Short post

First few days of work were awesome and full of papery goodness! I feel that at least some of it has gone in, hopefully! Now to start my first actual working week of the summer. I’m gonna make me some stimli!

New Star Trek film and some wine tonight, I almost feel cultured…almost (dons sunglasses in preparation for lens flare)

Meh. Short post…

New job starts tomorrow!

New job starts tomorrow working for Dr. Drieghe! Can’t wait to find out what I’ll be doing. Although I expect I will spend the morning harassing the uni computing people about installing the software I need. 48 hours of emails and all I’ve got is a question asking what system I’m running, after I’ve already given them the reference no. of the computer that belongs to them. Strange, crazy people…I shall be nagging tomorrow using my formal English voice that I get out for special complaining occasions.

Still tomorrow should be fun! 🙂