Progress in both human visual neuroscience and computer vision are limited by the availability of representative visual data. However, currently available image and movie databases are not representative of typical first-person visual experience. This project will create the Visual Experience Database (VEDB), a database of over 240 hours of first-person video complete with eye- and head-tracking. We will record from people of diverse ages (5-70 years) across three geographically distinct sites as they engage in common, everyday activities such as shopping, eating, or walking.

Data from the VEDB will be made openly available following a 6 month embargo period. Meta-data including GPS tags, demographic data of the person recording each video, and the pixelwise content tags will be made available so that researchers can select the parts of the dataset that most interest them.

With data from the VEDB we will address scientific questions within vision science and developmental psychology. Specifically, we will
  • compute descriptive statistics of head and eye motion, various types of continuous low- and mid-level image statistics, and statistics of scene-object context.
  • address questions regarding how visual environments may differ as a function of experience including (1) How does the visual environment change throughout development?, and (2) How do the statistics of visual experience differ between those who grew up in rural vs. urban communities?
  • assess whether and how descriptive statistics of head and eye motion, low- and mid-level image statistics, and statistics of scene-object context differ as a function of the observer’s activity.

  • To faciliate use of the database, we are also writing open-access software for data recording and analysis. The software will be well-documented and designed with the goal of being highly accessible even to those with limited training in big data. We actively seek inter- and cross-disciplinary use and adaptation of the database and software. For more information, click the “For Researchers” link below.

    Volunteer to participate

    picture of three researchers in white lab coats having a discussion in front of a microscope

    cartoon of three differently colored books stacked haphazardly on in a pile

    raised hands of many colors above the word volunteer

    Information for researchers interested in accessing the VEDB or software, requesting early access to the data, or collaboratin with VEDB researchers

    Listing of publications and presentations by our team related to the VEDB.

    Due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to recruit participants for our study. We are actively developing protocols to permit safe interaction of participants with researchers in a manner that is consistent with the advice of public health experts. Check back soon for updated information.

    Pilot video recording

    Taken shortly before the start of the covid-19 pandemic, in the video below, postdoctoral research Kamran Binaee guides a participant through a pilot run of data collection and demonstratse the mobile eye tracking employed in this project. The green dot represents the estimated position of the particiant’s gaze (where they were looking). (Video has no sound.)

    The creation of the VEDB is supported by an NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations grant (award #1920896).