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Gaze correlates of view preference: Comparing natural and urban scenes

Batool, A; Rutherford, P; McGraw, P; Ledgeway, T; Altomonte, S

Gaze correlates of view preference: Comparing natural and urban scenes Thumbnail


A Batool

Professor of Visual Neuroscience

S Altomonte


When looking out of a window, natural views are usually associated with restorative qualities and are given a higher preference than urban scenes. Previous research has shown that gaze behaviour might differ based on the natural or urban content of views. A lower number of fixations has been associated with the aesthetic evaluation of natural scenes while, when looking at an urban environment, a high preference has been correlated with more exploratory gaze behaviours. To characterise gaze correlates of view preference across natural and urban scenes, we collected and analysed experimental data featuring subjective preference ratings, eye-tracking measures, verbal reasoning associated with preference and nature relatedness scores. Consistent with the literature, our results confirm that natural scenes are more preferred than urban views and that gaze behaviours depend on view type and preference. Observing natural scenes was characterised by lower numbers of fixations and saccades, and longer fixation durations, compared to urban views. However, for both view types, most preferred scenes led to more fixations and saccades. Our findings also showed that nature relatedness may be correlated with visual exploration of scenes. Individual preferences and personality attributes, therefore, should be accounted for in studies on view preference and gaze behaviour.


Batool, A., Rutherford, P., McGraw, P., Ledgeway, T., & Altomonte, S. (2022). Gaze correlates of view preference: Comparing natural and urban scenes. Lighting Research and Technology, 54(6), 576-594.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 29, 2021
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 29, 2021
Journal Lighting Research and Technology
Print ISSN 1477-1535
Electronic ISSN 1477-0938
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 6
Pages 576-594
Keywords Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Public URL
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