By the end of the 19th century, many scientists started to look into a link between the eye movements and thinking. First eye-tracking technologies appeared at the beginning of the last century. A breakthrough in the use of these technologies came only at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries and currently the technologies continue to evolve. Broad application of often highly sophisticated eye-tracking technologies can, however, be hardly regionalised according to the focus of research teams. As a matter of interest, we present a list of foreign universities that make use of eye-tracking technologies in their research.
In the Czech Republic, eye-tracking-based research is generally carried out at the Czech Technical University in Prague. In Brno, eye-tracking is applied at the Mendel University in the field of marketing research, at the Masaryk University in the research related to cognitive sciences, pedagogy and psychology. At the Palacky University in Olomouc, eye-tracking is used in geoinformatics or, more precisely, in visual perception of geographic information in maps and their optimisation. Similar research is also carried out at the workplaces of the University of Zürich in Switzerland or Ghent University in Belgium. In the neighbouring Austria, eye-tracking is applied at the University of Vienna in the historical research of art or, more specifically, for assessing the authenticity of a work of art. Eye-tracking is used at the Polish University of Wroclaw e.g. in the field of psycholinguistics in the research of Polish language. Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava has established an eye-tracking laboratory for personalised teaching.
The largest space in Europe is given to the eye-tracking-based research at British universities. Results of their eye-tracking researches are widely practically applied in the commercial sphere (marketing), psychology (City, University of London), neurocognition (University of Dublin), reading strategies, etc. At the National University of Ireland Galway, applications are studied in the context of biological, social and psychological issues, e.g. effect of fear on the perception, eye-sight and decision-making processes, research into behaviour, problem predicting or online study of user experience. University of Strathclyde uses eye-tracking along with other technologies in the research leading to improvement of cognitive abilities in virtual reality and the study of the impact of child´s age on attention. The University of Lincoln uses eye-tracking in the study of proto-language abilities of a child.
German research uses eye-tracking in the study of German linguistics, while the Aachen University in the study of English linguistics. The Free University of Berlin uses this technology in the study of the language and memory processes, cognition and emotions, which is supported by the application of other methods, e.g. electrography, magnetic resonance imagining or psychophysiological tools. They also develop diagnostic instruments for the use in the commercial sphere and in schools or for the study of multilinguistic applications (e.g. for dyslexics). Eye-tracking is analogically worked with also at the University of Postdam. The relation of communication, interpretation and pattern visions in the verbalisation is an objective of the Heidelberg University.
Scandinavian universities deal with, among others, cognition in the learning process. The University of Turku in Finland bases its research on findings in psychology, linguistics, medicine, and education science. The Uppsala University uses eye-tracking in pupillometry (relation between pupil size and reactivity). Applications for automatic aircraft eye control have been studied at the Linköping University.
American universities also present widely targeted research. The University of Maryland studies behaviour of people and their consumption patterns, perception of information on the website, printed advertisement or music video. The Texas Tech University carries out research of concentration on various media types (static or dynamic projection), but also infographics at sporting events. The Princeton University uses eye-tracking in neurosciences. As for the Macalerster College, eye-tracking is used in the study of psychology; it e.g. enables to study perception of a face of man in interpersonal communication or in a situation in which an individual observes themselves in a mirror. In one of their projects, the University of Oregon deals with the “sounding” of vision in musical performances in multimedia environment. The Pennsylvania State University investigates bilingual aspects of language and vision, e.g. by means of processing morphological-syntactic information or moodiness in communication. Columbia University applies eye-tracking in architectural geometry and design systems. The University of Kentucky carries out classical marketing research using mobile eye-trackers.
The Carleton University in Canada uses the eye-tracker to study Japanese, while the University of Alberta in the field of psycholinguistics. Similarly, eye-tracking is used in the study of Cyrillic at the National Research University in Russia. The National Chengchi University in Taiwan applies eye-tracking in the research of Chinese characters reading when comparing simplified and traditional forms of Chinese.
Australian universities, e.g. Macquarie University, use eye-tracking mainly in the research of cognitive sciences. Asian universities, e.g. the University of Hong Kong, study the relation between eye movements and Mark models. The Kyoto University has studied the behaviour of mammals (horses, primates) investigating how chimpanzees responded to human emotions or how they recognized a human face. Using eye-tracking, Korea University studies ethnicity perception. At one of Chinese Universities of Technology applications and techniques are studied in order to processes digital images.
As it has been stated above, eye-tracking technology is currently widely applied in the academic sphere abroad. Our Centre enriches the palette of its application in research focused on the education and support of talented pupils in terms of natural sciences.
Updated: 27. 03. 2018