Here we make available the full set of UMass software for running reading eyetracking experiments. If you are new to this, a good place to start is with this excellent overview of the process – from programming your experiment to analyzing your data – written by former lab manager Matt Abbott. Note that this guide is not completely up-to-date – in particular, it predates Robodoc.
Please note that older versions of EyeTrack and EyeDoctor are available from Adrian Staub or Chuck Clifton.
The components of the software are as follows, roughly in the order you’ll need them.
EyeTrack is software for running reading experiments on the EyeLink eyetrackers made by SR Research. It runs under the Windows operating system. The primary developers were David Stracuzzi and Jeff Kinsey. EyeTrack is conceptually based on software written at Saarbrucken and provided to us by Christoph Scheepers, but all the code is new and subject to OpenSource license. If you use this software in published experiments, we would appreciate a reference to “EyeTrack” on this web page.
The most recent version of EyeTrack is 7.10m, which adds only some usability enhancements to version 7.10k. Each can be unzipped into its own directory, maintaining “code” and “documentation” subdirectories. A slightly-updated collection of html and Word documentation files now exists as EyeTrack Documentation.
Note that these programs require some .dll files provided by SR Research. Install their Display Computer software to get these files, even if your computer is not connected to an EyeLink. You’ll be able to run miniEyeTrack to check and debug your programs.
EyeTrack Software Documentation
Scripter is a Perl script written by Adrian Staub that allows for easy generation of EyeTrack experiment running scripts. Materials are entered as a tab-delimited text file, and the script is formatted automatically. It allows linking of items and questions, and it enables automatic specification of display-change regions, given screen and font parameters.
Fix_Align is an R script written by Andrew Cohen, and described in a 2013 Behavior Research Methods paper, which is here. It automatically adjusts the vertical coordinate of each eye fixation in a multi-line reading experiment so that the fixation falls on a specific line of text, eliminating the need to make decisions about which line was being fixated on an ad hoc basis in EyeDoctor. It works on raw .asc files generated by experiments using the EyeTrack software. It is available on Andrew’s lab website here.
The data-cleaning program EyeDoctor replaced the DOS program EyeWash; it has now been largely superseded by Robodoc, below, but we include it here for convenience.
EyeDoctor 0.6.5 deals well with data that contain multiple display changes on a single trial, correcting a few minor bugs that were in 0.6.4b and saving display change information in the temporary .edd files to permit a user to take a break while eyedoctoring a file with display changes. (Note: the zip file now includes a critical .dll file that was missing from some earlier distributions.)
HTML help files for EyeDoctor are available for download. They are not fully up to date, but should be useful. Unzip the package and open index.html with your web browser to read them.
This python program does automatic trial exclusion from .asc files based on blink/track losses and incorrect display changes, producing .da1 files that can be read into EyeDry. Robodoc replaces EyeDoctor. The original creators are Adrian Staub and Chuck Clifton, but this version (from January 2016) benefits from some excellent usability enhancements courtesy of Jesse Harris of UCLA, and from some serious beta testing by Jane Ashby and Holly Gagnon of Central Michigan. Thanks Jesse, Jane, and Holly!
It is available here: RoboDoc_and_utils.zip. This directory also includes python scripts for making a count file, and for extracting question accuracy and RT data from .asc files.
Make sure to read the instructions first. We welcome comments, bug reports, requests for new functionality. Direct these to me (Adrian Staub).
EyeDry and utilities
EyeDry is a DOS program that computes the full range of eye movement measures (first fixation duration, total time, percent regressions, etc.), based on the output files from EyeDoctor. Note that the current version was compiled on a Windows port of GCC (modeled on a Linux compilation that Patrick Sturt did a few years ago). It should eliminate the old memory limitation problems, and maybe run faster. Together with other relevant programs, EyeDry can be found in the dataanal directory.
Several important utilities can also be found in this directory. An important one is edprep60.exe, which is used to prepare .cnt files that tell EyeDoctor where your analysis regions are located. Another is ascacc1.exe, which scores question-answering accuracy, and even gets RTs for answers. For these the other other utilities found in this package, minimal instructions are available in corresponding .c files. ReadMe.txt gives a brief synopsis of what is in dataanal, and notes that you can get any of the old data analysis programs that used to come along with these more useful programs directly from Chuck Clifton.
As of February 2014, most of the programs in this directory will run on 64-bit machines, including ascacc1 and edprep60.
Here is a version that includes a new version of eyedry (July 2014) modified to allow longer .cnt files, for multiline texts with many analysis regions.
Old DPI Software
If you still run a DPI tracker, here’s the old suite of programs for that, called pcexpt. You may want to get the data analysis programs for the DPI directly from Chuck Clifton as well.