Understanding Urban Devotion through the Eyes of an Observer

Margarita Vinnikov, Kian Motahari, Louis I. Hamilton, Burcak Ozludil Altin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


If and how an individual's social, economic, and cultural backgrounds affect their perception of the built environment, is a fundamental problem for architects, anthropologists, historians, and urban planners alike. Similar factors affect an individual's religious beliefs and tendencies. Our research addresses the intersection of personal background and perception of sacred space by examining people's responses to a virtual replica of a "madonella,"a street shrine in Rome. The shrine was virtually recreated using photogrammetry. It was optimized for user studies employing VIVE Pro Eye. The study looked at the gaze behavior of 24 participants and compared their gaze patterns with demographic background and social-communal responses. The study finds that certain religious habits of an individual could predict their fixational features, including the number and total duration of fixations, on pivotal areas of interest in the shrine environment (even though these areas were placed outside of immediate sight). These results are a promising start to our ongoing study of the perception and received meaning of sacred space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - ETRA 2021
Subtitle of host publicationACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications, Short Papers Proceedings
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383455
StatePublished - May 25 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications, ETRA 2021 - Virtual, Online, United Kingdom
Duration: May 24 2021May 27 2021

Publication series

NameEye Tracking Research and Applications Symposium (ETRA)


Conference2021 ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications, ETRA 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


  • Gaze-patterns
  • free-viewing
  • perception of space


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