The Joint Eyetracking Lab

The Joint Eyetracking Lab (JEL) is run jointly by the School of Informatics and the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences.

The lab is designed for studying a range of human cognitive processes, including reading, speech, dialog, and visual processing. The setup in the lab is unique in that it contains two state of the art head-mounted eyetrackers, controlled by customized software that makes it possible to study how participants interact when they solve collaborative tasks. Of course the lab can also be used for single-participant eyetracking studies.

The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences also runs a number of other eyetracking labs, more information can be found here.

This page only contains the most essential information regarding the Eyetracking Lab. For more details, please go to the EyeTracking Wiki. This facility allows users to post their own information and thus facilities collaboration among lab users.

Also, all lab users should subscribe to the eyetracking mailing list. Please go to this page for instructions on how to subscribe.

Location and access

Image of the eye tracking lab
  • The lab is located in room B.04, in the basement of the Informatics Forum at 10 Crichton Street.
  • As the lab is a shared facility, please use the Studio Booking System to check availability and to book lab time.
  • Note that lab use by undergraduate students is only allowed during the hours designated for non-qualifying use of the Forum, see the Forum Wiki for details.
  • Only qualified staff and students are allowed to book and use the lab. In particular, this means that you can only use the lab once you've received appropriate training. Please contact the Lab Supervisor for details.

Experimental facilities

Two EyeLink II trackers

  • The lab is equipped with two SR Research EyeLink II head-mounted eyetrackers. These can be operated as individual systems or connected to enable a shared or “joint” eyetracking set-up (typically for dialogue and collaborative/competitive interaction research).   
  • Each system consists of two PCs: The display PC, running Windows, is used to display stimuli and collect responses from the subject. The host PC, running MS-DOS, records the data streams from the eyetracker and the scene camera.
  • The systems are also equipped with EyeLink Scene Cameras for tracking the subject's gaze position in a real-word scene.
  • The standard presentation software produced by the manufacturer is installed: EyeLink Experiment Builder. This is a visual experiment creation tool that supports a wide range of experimental paradigms without any need for programming or scripting expertise. The Experiment Builder supports the eyetracker and the scene camera, but it can also be used for experiments that don't use specialized hardware.
  • EyeLink Data Viewer is installed for viewing, filtering, and outputting EyeLink data events.
  • Both Experiment Builder and Data Viewer require the use of local network licences.
  • The Eyelink Software Suite developed by the UMass Eyetracking Lab is also installed on the display PCs. This includes EyeTrack, a tool for the creation of reading and visual world experiments, and EyeDoctor, a tool for post-processing of eyetracking data.
  • The two trackers are situated in a recording studio to enable high-quality audio capture.

One EyeLink 2K tracker

  • The lab also contains a SR Research EyeLink 1000 desktop eyetracking system, upgraded to run at a sampling rate of 2KHz.
  • This uses the same software as the EyeLink II, above.

Experimenter account

  • If you want to run experiments in the lab, an account will have to be created for you on the display PCs. Please contact the Lab Supervisor to arrange this. 
  • Your user name will be your University User Name (UUN).
  • Standardly, experimenters are allocated only limited Windows accounts on the display PCs, which means that they are not able to install new software or update existing software. This is necessary to ensure integrity of the system and to prevent the spread of viruses and other unwanted software. If you require installations or updates for your work, please contact the Lab Supervisor.

Backups and printing

  • The display PCs are configured such that all user data (i.e., all data under C:\Documents and Settings) is backed up automatically every night. Note that the PCs have to be switched on for this to happen, so it is recommended to leave them running overnight and only switch them off if their are not in use for an extended period of time. The backup solution used is TiBS.
  • Also, users might be interested in the fact that all the experimental data generated by a given tracker is also duplicated on the relevant host PC in the directory G:\edf.

Good practice for experiments

Lab supervisor

  • An experienced researcher acts as the lab supervisor. He should be contacted in case there are any questions or problems regarding the lab. 
  • The lab supervisor is Robin Hill. He is helped by Frank Keller.