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Institut für Linguistik: Anglistik

Eye Tracking

The eye tracking lab, hosted by the department of Romance linguistics since January 2011, has been integrated into the new Linguistics Laboratory of the Institute for Linguistics.

  • What is an eye tracker?

An eye tracker is a device that records eye movements. Modern eye trackers, like the one in our linguistics lab (an iView XTM High-Speed by SMI), are equipped with a software that allows for a very analysis of different kinds of eye movements (fixations and saccades).

  • Eye tracking in scientific research

The method of eye tracking is used in different disciplines (psychology, product research, linguistics), at Stuttgart University e.g. by the department of Romance Linguistics and by the Institute for Engineering Design and Industrial Design (IKTD).

While the branch Industrial Design of the IKTD researches, under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Maier, how products can be improved to better fit human needs (for more information click here), the Linguistics department uses an eye-tracker e.g. for reading studies. By recording and analyzing eye movements, linguists hope to get insight e.g. into the following questions:

  • How does reading work? How do we learn to read?
  • How do we understand written speech?
  • How do we understand words in context? How do we access them in our mental lexicon?
  • Which kinds of words are stored in our mental lexicon? And how are they stored?

At Stuttgart University, a project that is currently reserching the latter two questions is the project Conversion between syntax and lexicon in French and Italian (cf. project B7 of the collaborative Research Center SFB 732 Incremental Specification in Context; principal investigator of B7: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Daniela Marzo). For more information on the project please click here.

  • Eye tracking in teaching

The method of eye-tracking is regularly taught in the courses Speech and Cognition and Empirical Methods in Linguistics of the Bachelor of Arts program Romanistik (Romance philology). Students of related BA and MA programs are welcome, too, especially in the class on empirical methods in linguistics. If you need an introduction to eye-tracking outside of classes, e.g. for a Bachelor’s or Master’s Thesis, please contact Jun.-Prof. Dr. Daniela Marzo.

  • Public events on the method of eye tracking at the Institute for Linguistics

17.01.11: FSK-Workshop "An Eye on Text and Object Design" (organization Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Maier, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Daniela Marzo, Dipl.-Ing. Antonio Botta; for further information please click here).

For more past and future events (2011 and 2012) concerning the method of eye tracking (SMI Roadshows included) see the website of the Romance Linguistics department (please click here).