Abstract. Cognitive theories of multimedia learning (e.g., Cognitive - Affective Model of Learning with Media by Moreno et al., 2005) emphasize as central the role of attention and perception for searching, selecting, and integrating new information. The process of visual attention can be described in terms of the dynamical interplay between spacial orienting and deep cognitive processing.
Several such two-stage models of visual information processing have been proposed (e.g., James, 1890; Neisser, 1967; Treisman & Gelade, 1980). The first, pre-attentive stage is held to be spatially parallel and to involve the computation of simple perceptual features (ambient attention). The second is held to be spatially serial, enabling complex visual representations (involving combinations of features) to be computed and processed (focal attention). The latter stage in learning situations allows for deeper information processing, storage, and retrieval, fostering integration with the learner's current knowledge.
Recent literature (e.g., Velichkovsky et al., 2005; Krejtz et al., 2012, 2014) links dynamical features of ambient and focal attentional stages with certain characteristics of eye movements. Furthermore, a statistical coefficient of ambient/focal eye movements, developed by Krejtz et al. 2012, gives a straightforward depiction of the dynamics of visual information processing allowing its better understanding and suggesting a method for influencing learners' attention for improved learning outcomes.
During the talk a theoretical background for the interplay of ambient/focal attention and its role in visual information processing is going to be presented, followed by empirical validation of eye movement characteristics reflecting these dynamics, and its sensitivity to top-down and bottom-up processes implicated in learning, especially when doing so with multimedia materials. Finally, I will present and discuss results of empirical studies demonstrating the validity of different techniques of attention cueing for improving its outcomes.
Bio. Krzysztof Krejtz is an assistant professor of Psychology at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, Poland, where he is running Eye Tracking Research Center. In summer term 2017 he was a guest professor in Ulm University, Ulm, Germany. His research and teaching interests include visual attention and its dynamics, eye movements models, eye tracking method and statistics, as well as the use of eye tracking in computer interaction control and multimedia learning. He holds a Psychology PhD from University of Warsaw, Poland.