Watching you watch There Will Be Blood: The eye’s mind

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Your eyes are at work from the moment you wake up to the moment you close them to go to sleep. They take in tons of information about the world around you — shapes, colours, movements, and more. Then they send the information to your brain for processing so the brain knows what’s going on outside of your body. But how does the human eye react while watching a movie? The following video which (comes courtesy of David Bordwell’s Website on Cinema) provides an in-depth dissection of how a human eye will move around, while watching a film.

In this excerpt from There Will Be Blood, 11 adult viewers were shown the video and their eye movements recorded using an Eyelink 1000 (SR Research) infra-red camera-based eyetracker. Each dot represents the centre of one viewer’s gaze. The size of each dot represents the length of time they have held fixation. After watching the video you should head over to David Bordwell’s site, to read his introduction to eye tracking and its possible significance for understanding film viewing. It comes highly recommended. Enjoy!

There Will Be Blood with gaze locations of 11 viewers from TheDIEMProject on Vimeo.

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