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Projects -> Psychology


Goal: To examine the potential relationship between psycho-physiological indices of attentional bias to environmental stimuli (including alcohol-related images) as measured using traditional eye tracking characteristics (e.g., dwell time, point of initial fixation) vs. basic oculomotor plant metrics (e.g., in response to moving points of light). To examine the predictive capacity of eye-tracking measures, obtained via traditional attentional bias measures (e.g., dwell time and initial point of fixation to alcohol-related images) and oculomotor plant metrics (e.g., in response to moving points of light), for development of binge drinking first years of the college experience.

Motivation: College binge drinking is an issue of major concern in our society. Substance users’ cognitive processing of addiction-related stimuli (such as pictures of alcoholic beverages) is a critical component of craving, and ultimately, the use of addictive substances (such as alcohol). Preexisting risk factors and exposure to alcohol could influence students’ perceptions of and attention to alcohol-related stimuli, an important determinant in students’ decisions to engage in risking drinking behaviors. Many studies have verified the link between attentional biases to addiction-related stimuli and the development and maintenance of addiction, as well as in relapse after periods of abstinence from an addictive substance. However eye-tracking studies of attentional bias to alcohol-related images have focused on simplistic eye-tracking metrics such as point of initial fixation (which component of the image is viewed first) and dwell time (how much time is spent looking at a particular aspect of the image), but basic physiological responses of the oculomotor system to control stimuli such as moving points of light was not investigated.

Project Status: Analyzing collected data and disseminating results.



M. Czyzewska, A. E. Nolan, J. E. Vanstone, O. V. Komogortsev, Visual attention to food ads and processing demands of task: Eye-tracker study, in 24th Annual Convention for Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, May 2012.

R. Graham, A. Hoover, N. A. Ceballos, and O. V. Komogortsev, Body mass index moderates gaze orienting biases and pupil diameter to high and low calorie food images, Appetite, 56 (3), pp. 577-586, 2011. [link]

N. Ceballos, and O. Komogortsev, Innovative Applications of Oculomotor Plant Metrics as Predictors of Social Drinking Levels and Attentional Biases to Alcohol-Related Stimuli. 33rd Annual Research Society on Alcoholism Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, June 2010. [link]

A. Hoover, N. Ceballos, O. Komogortsev, R. Graham, Effects of hunger and body mass index on attentional capture by high and low calorie food images: An eye-tracking study, Vision Sciences Society (VSS) Annual Meeting, Naples, Florida, May 10, 2010. [link]

Ceballos, N., Komogortsev, O., and Turner G. M., Ocular Imaging of Attentional Bias Among College Students: Automatic and Controlled Processing of Alcohol- Related Scenes.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2009, pp. 652-659, 2009.  [.pdf]