Graduate School of Informatics /Cognitive Sciences
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science Ayşenur Hülagü will defend his thesis.
Title: THE FUNCTIONALITY OF NON-VISUAL GAZE PATTERNS DURING REMEMBERING OF THE PAST AND IMAGINING THE FUTURE: EVIDENCE FROM EYE TRACKING
Date: 2nd August 2018
Time: 13:00 AM
Thesis Abstract :Future-oriented thoughts play an important role in human mental life. They can be more or less abstract, including themes such as work, relationships, leisure activities and errands, and serve functions such as action planning, decision making and emotion regulation (d’Argembeau et al., 2011). Future-oriented thoughts share some properties with past memories. Both can comprise episodic as well as semantic aspects. Episodic cognition is the capacity for mental time travel and allows a person to relive and prelive events of their own life (Suddendorf et al., 2009) whereas semantic cognition is related to general world knowledge. According to Szpunar et al. (2014), there seems to be a whole continuum of episodic and semantic forms as well as different modes of future thinking such as simulation, prediction, intention, and planning, serving different functions for adaptive behavior. An important but as yet unresolved empirical issue is how one can distinguish episodic and semantic forms of past and future cognition, respectively. Micic et al. (2010) revealed in three experiments that non-visual gaze patterns occur frequently during mental activities, in particular during long-term memory searches. Non-visual eye-movements may therefore indicate mental simulation during remembering the past, which is characteristic of episodic cognition. In this study eye-tracking methodology will be used to find out whether non-visual gaze patterns occur during thinking of the past and into the future and, if so, whether they may be diagnostic of episodic as compared to semantic thinking.