September 20 2010
By Sebastiaan Mathôt 14157 reads
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Publications and writing
You can find a list of my publications (including experimental scripts and data), talks, awards, etc. on this page. In addition, I occasionally write blogs about research, academic publishing, and other ‘meta-scientific’ topics. A selection:
- The black swan
- The beauty of being wrong: A plea for post-publication revision
- A name-letter effect in the Dutch elections?
- The difference between freely accessible content and Open Acces
- 30 years of science: Expressions of certainty
- Stabilizing vision: Do the chicken head
- Curves, desire paths, and elephant trails
- An easy way to create graphs with within-subject error bars
- A bit about the evolution of eye movements
Eye movements and perception
Broadly speaking, my research is about eye movements and perception.
Recently, I have become interested in pupillometry. Although pupil size is used routinely as a diagnostic tool in optometry, and as a marker of arousal (or cognitive load, effort, etc.) in a wide range of research fields, there are many things that we still do not know about why, when, and how the pupil changes its size. I’m particularly interested in the relationship between the pupillary response and spatial eye movements, such as saccades and smooth pursuit.
The video below shows the most widely known pupillary response: the light response. This video is based on real data of me viewing an alternating sequence of black and white displays.
During my PhD project at the VU University Amsterdam, I focused on visual stability: How do we construct a stable and complete representation of our environment–if indeed we do!–despite the incompleteness and instability of visual input at the level of the retina? In the video below, you see schematically depicted how the retinal image (on the left) changes as we make eye movements across a visual scene (on the right).
I’m the lead developer of OpenSesame, an open-source graphical experiment builder for the social sciences. OpenSesame is a tool for creating psychological experiments with a minimum of fuzz. Below you can see a demonstration video (courtesy of Chris Longmore).
In addition to OpenSesame (see above), I have developed a number of other software packages, mostly tools for research and writing (because I like to write about research). Notable packages:
- Qnotero gives easy access to your Zotero references.
- QuiEdit is a distraction-free text editor.
- The online Gabor-patch generator is an online tool to generate, wait for it … Gabor patches!
For a full list of software, see: