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Visual gaze behaviour of adults and older adults at a pedestrian crossing.

Egan, Christopher D; Willis, Alexandra; Ness, Hayley; Stradling, Stephen G


Christopher D Egan

Alexandra Willis

Hayley Ness

Stephen G Stradling


Underdeveloped visual search strategies may be a contributing factor to children's involvement in pedestrian accidents. Although laboratory-based research suggests that the ability to detect targets in a cluttered scene may be less efficient in children compared with adults (Trick et al, 2003 Memory & Cognition 31 1229 - 1237), no study to date has examined this using a real-world, roadside setting. The present study compared the visual gaze behaviour of 8-year-old children (N=5) and adults (N=6) during a real-world, road-crossing task, using an eye-tracker. Participants were asked to cross the road when they felt it was safe. Gaze fixation was analysed using frame-by-frame coding. In the 3 s prior to crossing, children fixated 8% of the time on traffic signs and signals, adults 30%. Children fixated more on traffic-irrelevant features such as buildings and trees than the adults. The children's attention to irrelevant features at the roadside concurs with previous laboratory-based studies and is a likely contributing factor to their involvement in pedestrian accidents.


Egan, C. D., Willis, A., Ness, H., & Stradling, S. G. (2007). Visual gaze behaviour of adults and older adults at a pedestrian crossing. Perception, 37, (149). ISSN 0301-0066

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2008
Deposit Date Jan 6, 2012
Print ISSN 0301-0066
Electronic ISSN 1468-4233
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Pages 149
Keywords Visual gaze; pedestrian crossings; accidents; children;
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