Landscape perception, landscape experience, landscape and health

The PhD of Lien Dupont (obtained in June 2016) focused on the use of eye tracking in landscape perception research and aimed at analyzing how people observe landscapes. Therefore, experiments were performed with a remote RED-eye tracking device from SMI (Senso Motoric Instruments) using standard and panoramic landscape photographs. During these experiments, the eye movements and fixations of the observers were constantly recorded, which made it possible to reconstruct the entire observation pattern. As such, the elements in a landscape that catch the attention could be determined along with the duration of this attention. Different landscape types (open vs enclosed, rural vs urban etc.) were analyzed as well as different groups of observers (landscape experts vs non-experts). The data were statistically processed in order to determine if the diverse types of landscapes were observed in a different manner and if the viewing pattern was influenced by the background of the observer. The results were visualized in heat maps and by other visualization tools. This research provided results which were useful in the field of visual landscape assessment and landscape planning and - development. The output of her research is, for example, useful for visual impact assessment of new constructions. Currently, Lien is continuing her research activities as a post-doc researcher. Topics concern landscape perception, landscape experience, landscape and (mental) health, and more. Methodologies are eye-tracking, photo-questionnaires, interviews, statistical analyses etc.

Links to websites for more information: (UGent only)

Research units

Staff members


  • FWO