Top-Down Influences on Eye-Movements during Painting Perception: The Effect of Task and Titles

  • Evgenia Hristova
  • Severina Georgieva
  • Maurice Grinberg
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6456)


The paper explores the eye-movement patterns while looking at famous paintings belonging to two styles of representational art – surrealist (Dali) and baroque (Caravaggio). Two factors were varied in a factorial design: the task of the viewer and the information about the painting. The two tasks used were ‘aesthetic rating’ of the painting and ‘content description.’ For half of the viewers, no information about the paintings was presented, while for the other half the paintings’ titles were provided. For baroque paintings, when the titles were presented, the change in eye-movements was small, but the aesthetic ratings showed a dramatic increase. On the other hand, for surrealist paintings, when titles were presented the change in eye-movement patterns was considerable, while no change in the aesthetic ratings was noticed. These results add new information to the exploration of painting perception and the role of top-down effects on eye-movements.


art perception eye-movements aesthetic judgments 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evgenia Hristova
    • 1
  • Severina Georgieva
    • 1
  • Maurice Grinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Central and East European Center for Cognitive ScienceNew Bulgarian UniversitySofiaBulgaria

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