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Department of Cognitive Science

Eye-Tracking Facilities

Eyelink II LaboratoryEye-movements and cognitive science

As we go about our daily lives, our eyes are continually moving around, sampling the information that is available in the visual environment. For instance, if we want to know how somebody is feeling, we will fixate in turn on the different features of their face. When reading a story, our eyes will move from word to word, lingering on words that are more difficult to read, and backtracking when we realise that something doesn’t quite make sense. And when we hear somebody talking, our eyes tend to be drawn to objects in the visual scene that we expect the speaker to mention next. By monitoring people’s eye-movements, it is possible to gain important insights into the underlying cognitive processes involved in completing these tasks.

Eye-tracking facilities in the Department

Our Eye-Tracking facilities include the following systems. Each of these systems has different strengths, enabling a wide-range of applications.

Eyetracker Mount Location Specific details
Eyelink 1000


AHH 1.703 Remote Configuration (16mm Lens)
Eyelink 1000 Desktop AHH 1.704 Chin Rest Configuration (35mm Lens)
Integration with a Biopac GSR system
Eyelink II Head AHH 1.801  
Eyelink 1000 Desktop Macquarie University Hospital Chin Rest Configuration (35mm Lens)
Eyelink 1000 Tower ERP Facility Integration with Neuroscan ERP System
Eyelink 1000 Long Range KIT/Macqaurie Brain Imaging Lab Integrated for use with MEG System
Eyelink 1000 Long Range Macquarie Medical Imaging Integrated for use with fMRI System
ASL EYE-TRAC Head Action in Cognition Facility Integrated for use with NDI Optotrak

EyeLink 1000 remote eyetrackers

Eyelink 1000 remote calibrationOur remote eyetracking systems incorporate a small camera and infra-red illuminator mounted on the desktop in front of the display screen. Participants wear a small circular sticker on their forehead, which enables the system to track their head position as they move around freely (around 20cm in any direction). This makes the system particularly suitable for testing children and other special populations. The remote system operates at 500Hz, but can record at 1000Hz and with higher spatial resolution if the participant's head is stabilized using a chin-rest.

Each system is by default setup for use with a chin-rest or in the remote configuration. Change between one or the other requires changing the lens that is installed in the system and needs to be organised with the eye-tracking oversight committee in-advance of booking subjects.

Eyelink II Head MountEyeLink II head-mounted eye-tracker

The system uses three cameras: two high speed cameras allow for binocular (or dominant-eye monocular) recording of eye movements; the third camera tracks four infrared markers mounted on the display screen, allowing the EyeLink software to automatically compensate for small head movements by tracking the position of the subject's head in relation to these markers on the screen. This means that a chin rest, or head restraint, is not required. Pupil measurements are recorded at a rate of 500 Hz (one sample every 2 milliseconds). The head-mounted tracker is currently the only system in this department that enables binocular recording. It is particularly suitable for research that involves interaction with a touch-screen. In principle, it could be upgraded (at cost) to allow eye-tracking of interactions with 3-dimensional objects.

EyeLink 1000 tower-mounted system

The tower-mounted EyeLink 1000 system provides the greatest spatial and temporal resolution. To achieve this, the participant's head must be stabilized on a chin-rest. The camera is positioned above the chinrest and monitors their eye-movements via a mirror placed between the participant and the computer screen. The mirror reflects infra-red light but visible light passes through, so the participant’s view of the computer screen is not affected. Our tower-mounted eye-tracker is integrated with a Neuroscan EEG system, allowing brain responses to be time-locked to fixation on particular areas of interest on the screen (see ERP facility for more details).

Booking time/use of facilities

To use an eyetracker, Data Viewer or Experiment builder key you must book the appropriate facility using the Cognitive Science room booking system.

  • All off-site bookings and use by non-department members must be requested via an email to the "Eye-tracking Oversight Committee".
  • License keys in general are only bookable by Department of Cognitive Science members. Non-department members should make arrangements with their own department for a software key.
  • Do not book the lab for more time than you need. All day bookings are to be avoided.

Department of Cognitive Science Eye-tracking Oversight committee

Information for Lab users

Useful Links

Further Information


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