Explorıng the Cognitive Processes of Map Users Employing Eye Tracking And EEG

This research aims to understand how different map users read, interpret and use the visual information presented in maps by using sketch maps, eye-tracking and EEG. Therefore, we designed user experiments to study the cognitive differences and similarities of experts and novice map users when they perform a spatial memory tasks on 2D maps. The tasks with varying difficulty levels demand the recalling of one or more main structuring element(s) (i.e. roads, hydrography, green areas) on a map stimulus of which participants are asked to study for a short while. Throughout the experiments, participants are connected to EEG recording device and their gaze activities are captured with an eye tracker.

Triangulating the collected behavioral (i.e. reaction time, correct answer), gaze and neurophysiological (i.e. eye tracking and EEG) data, we plan to estimate the overall cognitive load caused by the recalling task in both groups. Therefore, it will be possible to identify which elements are recalled easily/primarily, and what is more, the insights that particularly arose from the differences due to expertise will henceforth contribute to creating cartographic products in a more effective way.

Research units

Staff members


  • A. Ozgur Dogru, Istanbul Technical University