Allgemeine Psychologie II

Prof. Dr. Antje Nuthmann


Olshausenstr. 62, R. 311
Telefon: +49 431 880-4057

Wilhelm-Seelig-Platz 6, R. 305
Telefon: +49 431 880-2418

Forschungsfreisemester im Wintersemester 2021/22


Freitags, 15:00 - 16:00 Uhr, außerhalb der Vorlesungszeit nach Vereinbarung.
Präsenz: Olshausenstr. 62, R. 311
Corona-bedingt findet die Sprechstunde aktuell online bzw. telefonisch statt.
Bitte melden Sie sich per E-Mail an.


How do we gather visual information from the world to aid perception and action? Our approach to this question is to work with static and dynamic images of real-world scenes and to record observers’ eye movements while they freely explore the scene or follow a specific task instruction. We investigate both spatial (Where? Where do we move our attention and gaze?) and temporal (When? How long do attention and gaze remain at a given location?) aspects of eye-movement control.
Eye-tracking demo, CAU campus (YouTube)

Projekt 1: Where do we look: objects and visual salience

Regarding the Where? decision about where to fixate next, the prevailing saliency models postulate that visually salient scene regions attract attention and gaze. But are we really stimulus driven saliency detectors? As an alternative, we have argued and shown that attention allocation and saccade target selection are strongly driven by (task-relevant) objects, and that visual salience acts through its correlation with objects (e.g., Nuthmann & Henderson, 2010; Nuthmann et al., 2020).

The goal of complementary methodological work is to provide developers of saliency models with a powerful method to identify the image features that should be part of the saliency map (Nuthmann & Einhäuser, 2015) and to assess model performance (Nuthmann et al., 2017).

Projekt 2: How long do we look?

Research on the When? decision is based on the proposition that the durations of fixations in scene viewing are sensitive to moment-to-moment visual-cognitive processing demands. We were among the first to systematically study the precise mechanisms that control fixation durations during scene perception, using experiments (e.g., Walshe & Nuthmann, 2014; Einhäuser et al., 2020) and statistical modelling techniques (Einhäuser & Nuthmann, 2016; Nuthmann, 2017). This line of research also includes the development of computational models: the CRISP model (e.g., Nuthmann et al., 2010) and, more recently, a dual-process model of fixation-duration control in natural scene viewing (Walshe & Nuthmann, 2021).

Projekt 3: Scene perception and search from foveal to peripheral vision

It is well known that reading speed and comprehension suffer when high-acuity foveal vision is damaged or artificially masked. The goal of this project is to test the generality of this finding by addressing the following question: How important are the different regions of the visual field for visual search in naturalistic scenes? In our experiments, we use gaze-contingent scotomas to selectively deny information processing in the fovea, parafovea, or periphery (demo 1demo 2).

The results from several studies converge on the finding that foveal vision is less important and peripheral vision is more important for scene perception and search than previously thought. Moreover, the importance of foveal vision was found to depend on the specific requirements of the task. We are currently extending this work to dynamic scenes with static or moving targets.

Key publications: Nuthmann (2014); Clayden et al. (2020); Nuthmann et al. (2021)


  • 04/2018 - 03/2020: Geschäftsführende Direktorin des Instituts für Psychologie
  • Seit 08/2017: Professorin (W3) für Allgemeine Psychologie II (Wahrnehmung und Kognition), Institut für Psychologie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
  • 2016: Beförderung zum Reader, Institut für Psychologie, Universität Edinburgh (Schottland)
  • 01/2013 - 06/2013: Forschungssemester am Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF) an der Universität Bielefeld, Forschungsgruppe "Wettbewerb und Prioritätskontrolle in Geist und Gehirn: Neue Perspektiven aus der Forschung zu Aufmerksamkeit und Sehen" (10/2012 - 07/2013)
  • 03/2010: Beförderung zum Lecturer, Institut für Psychologie, Universität Edinburgh
  • 06/2007 - 02/2010: Tenure-Track Academic Fellow in Visueller Kognition, Institut für Psychologie, Universität Edinburgh
  • 01/2006 - 05/2007: Post-Doktorandin, Allgemeine Psychologie I (Prof. Reinhold Kliegl), Institut für Psychologie, Universität Potsdam
  • 10/2002 - 05/2006: Promotion in Psychologie (Dr. phil.), Universität Potsdam
    Dissertation: The "Where" and "When" of Eye Fixations in Reading
  • 10/1996 - 09/2002: Studium der Psychologie (Dipl.-Psych.), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • 09/2000 - 05/2001: Akademischer Auslandsaufenthalt an der Universität Toronto, Kanada (Prof. Eyal M. Reingold)