The influence of calibration method and eye physiology on eyetracking data quality
Recording eye movement data with high quality is often a prerequisite for producing valid and replicable results and for drawing well-founded conclusions about the oculomotor system. Today, many aspects of data quality are often informally discussed among researchers but are very seldom measured, quantified, and reported. Here we systematically investigated how the calibration method, aspects of participants’ eye physiologies, the influences of recording time and gaze direction, and the experience of operators affect the quality of data recorded with a common tower-mounted, video-based eyetracker. We quantified accuracy, precision, and the amount of valid data, and found an increase in data quality when the participant indicated that he or she was looking at a calibration target, as compared to leaving this decision to the operator or the eyetracker software. Moreover, our results provide statistical evidence of how factors such as glasses, contact lenses, eye color, eyelashes, and mascara influence data quality. This method and the results provide eye movement researchers with an understanding of what is required to record high-quality data, as well as providing manufacturers with the knowledge to build better eyetrackers.