Tag: psychology

The 18th European Conference on Eye Movements ECEM 2015, Vienna, Austria

ECEM 2015 took place at the University of Vienna from August 16 to 21, 2015. It was a very interesting conference and a lovely city to spend time in.

I presented my work on skim reading and hypertext:

Fitzsimmons, G., Weal, M. J. & Drieghe, D. (2015, August) Skim Reading: An Adaptive Strategy for Reading on the Web. Presented at European Conference on Eye Movements, Vienna, Austria.

The presentation seemed to be well received and I had lots of interesting feedback and questions. Also, someone wrote a news article on the session of talks I presented in and I got to be the headline photo. Scary…

Where do we look when we buy e-shop, or read on the Web?

Tyden news story skim reading

Tyden news story skim reading

St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Skim reading presentation

Skim reading presentation

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift


Psychonomics 2014 – Long Beach, California

On the 20th-23rd November I attended Psychonomics for the first time. It is the largest conference I have attended and it was really interesting to see so much research in such a short space of time! Of course, the fact the conference was held in Long Beach didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the conference…

I spoke to lots of interesting people and got to catch up with US colleagues which is always fun. I definitely talked and ate too much, but it was a really good conference. I presented a poster on my research and my supervisor Dr. Denis Drieghe presented a talk on my most recent research.

It was interesting to see other people at the conference who were also doing Web Science type research, it seems that every year there is more Web related research, which is great! When I attended my first few conferences in psychology there was very little, if any, Web based research.  I hope to see even more in the future. But for now I am back in the cold UK, very jetlagged and ready to keep chipping away at my next experiment.

Presented at OPAM

Robbins, A., Hout, M. C., Godwin, H. J., Fitzsimmons, G. & Scarince, C. (2014, November). Where’s Volvo?: Visual search for automobiles and why attention is prioritized to school buses. Poster presented at the 22nd Annual Workshop on Object Perception, Attention, and Memory (OPAM), Long Beach, CA.

Presented at Psychonomics

Fitzsimmons, G., Weal, M, J. & Drieghe, D. (2014, November). The Impact of Hyperlinks on Reading on the Web. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA.

Drieghe, D., Weal, M. J. & Fitzsimmons, G. (2014, November). Reading for Comprehension Versus Skim Reading on the Web: How Skim Reading Is Informed by Hyperlinks. Presented at the Psychonomic Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA.

Harvey, H., Walker, R., Liversedge, S. P., Godwin, H. J. & Fitzsimmons, G. (2014, November). Psycholinguistic Processing in Reading of Dynamic Text. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA.

Hout, M. C., Godwin, H. J., Fitzsimmons, G., Robbins, A. & Menneer, T. (2014, November). Semantic and Visual Similarity Guide Visual Search for Words and Numbers. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA.


Sunny Long Beach

Sunny Long Beach

Massive poster session

Massive poster session

Christmas decorations - California in November

Christmas decorations – California in November



Long Beach Convention Centre

Long Beach Convention Centre

ECEM 2013 – Lund, Sweden

European Conference on Eye Movements – ECEM 2013 in Lund, Sweden was great this year. The talks and posters were consistently interesting and I really loved Sweden. This is the first ECEM where I have seen several researchers looking at how people engage with and read hyperlinks which was really good. It was interesting to see how other people have approached the topic. I look forward to seeing more hyperlink research at the next conference!

I gave a presentation on the first steps of measuring how people read hyperlinks and I was also involved in some other projects that were presented at the conference:

Fitzsimmons, G. & Drieghe, D. (2013, August). Measuring the Impact of Hyperlinks on Reading. Presented at the European Conference on Eye Movements, Lund, Sweden.

Drieghe, D., Fitzsimmons, G. & Liversedge, S.P. (2013, August). Parafoveal Preview Effects In Reading Unspaced English Text. Presented at the European Conference on Eye Movements, Lund, Sweden.

Bertram, R., Fitzsimmons, G., Drieghe, D. & Kuperman, V. (2013, August). Why spaces should be replaced by hyphens in English compounds. Poster presented at the European Conference on Eye Movements, Lund, Sweden.

Yes, the conference took place in a castle.

How Fast can Predictability influence Word Skipping during Reading

My paper on predictability and word skipping has now been accepted for publication to JEP:LMC! The data from this experiment was also presented as a poster at ECEM 2011.

Fitzsimmons, G., & Drieghe, D. (in press). How Fast can Predictability influence Word Skipping during ReadingJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

A link will be made available on my publications page when the paper is available online.

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.



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! 🙂

Exams are over, let the working begin!

Exams are over! How I’ve waited for this day! Now to remember what I did before revision took over my life…was it something to do with genes/children/pop psych? No…I would hope not.

So currently having a relaxing bank holiday, doing exactly nothing. I may paint my nails while watching some junk films, but that is as much as I intend to do today. Anyway, I have to be up early tomorrow for my induction! w00t! I get to get a new staff card with the same details as the one I just handed in, hopefully not with the same ‘just dug up’ picture, but I expect it will be. At least I can scare small children with it I suppose. I get to have an induction around the department tomorrow, which should be short seeing as I spend a lot of time in there already. I’m really looking forward to working in the psych department, I owe many thanks/favours/drinks for the opportunity! Unfortunately I have to share an office with a certain Dr.Godwin. Tsch, there’s always a down side!

Work, lovelife, miscellaneous

What a weird exam…surely no degree level assessment should have the multiple choice question: “Which of the following celebrities is not a Scientologist?” Well, after a quick google I find I got this question correct, I’m not sure whether that is a good or bad thing! The other questions were bizarre as well, either referring to screaming tomatoes/drug use or they were more semantic word play than questioning understanding. I can kiss any good grades this semester goodbye it seems. With these strange lab sessions and bizarre essays to write the “work” stuff isn’t going so well. I’m going to go for some miscellaneous for awhile.