An Information Maximization Model of Eye Movements

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 17 (NIPS 2004)

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Laura Renninger, James Coughlan, Preeti Verghese, Jitendra Malik


We propose a sequential information maximization model as a general strategy for programming eye movements. The model reconstructs high-resolution visual information from a sequence of fixations, taking into account the fall-off in resolution from the fovea to the periphery. From this framework we get a simple rule for predicting fixation sequences: after each fixation, fixate next at the location that minimizes uncertainty (maximizes information) about the stimulus. By comparing our model performance to human eye movement data and to predictions from a saliency and random model, we demonstrate that our model is best at predicting fixation locations. Modeling additional biological constraints will improve the prediction of fixation sequences. Our results suggest that information maximization is a useful principle for programming eye movements.