Eye & Pen 2 (English version)
Writing is a complex human activity. The writer has to compose a coherent message and formulate it in accordance with linguistic rules (grammar, spelling), all the while taking the characteristics of the potential reader into account. The ability to manage all these various mental activities, as well as their time course, can be regarded as an indicator of the writer's expertise.
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Writing is a complex human activity. The writer has to compose a coherent message and formulate it in accordance with linguistic rules (grammar, spelling), all the while taking the characteristics of the potential reader into account. The ability to manage all these various mental activities, as well as their time course, can be regarded as an indicator of the writer's expertise. Identifying the rules that govern the engagement and course of these mental processes is an essential step towards a greater understanding of writing and processing. The Eye and Pen software was designed to help researchers attain this goal.
Eye and Pen can be mainly (but not exclusively) used in the context of handwriting studies, whatever the graphic format (from text to drawing).
It has been designed by David Chesnet, computer engineer (MSHS, CNRS-University of Poitiers, France) and Denis Alamargot, senior lecturer, researcher in developmental cognitive psychology (Laboratory Language, Memory and cognitive development, CNRS-University of Poitiers, France).
The Eye and Pen software allows to record in real time, then analyse periods of handwriting and pauses (by means of a digitizing tablet: coordinates and state of the pen) and optionally records simultaneous eye movements (via an optical eye-tracking system: eye coordinates in the task environment). The ability to track with high precision the processing of visual information during writing will contribute enormously to their understanding of compositional strategies and the functioning of written language. The conjunction of these two signals allows us to study the synchronization between eye and pen movements during pausing and writing periods. For instance, it makes it possible to study not only the visual control of graphomotor execution, but also the reading of the text in order to revise it and the consultation of documentary sources with a view to summarizing them. Eye and Pen allows users to conduct these investigations in a continuous way, without interrupting the activity underway or increasing cognitive load.
The Eye and Pen software can be regarded as a type of digital video recorder, which allows users to watch and play-replay the process of graphic generation and associated eye movements as often as they wish. A semi-automated coding system enables users to characterize and classify ocular and graphomotor events.
Eye and Pen has two different modes of operation:
- the acquisition mode, allowing the recording of tablet and eye-tracker data; Eye and Pen can manage acquisition in group within a dedicated network.
- the analysis mode, allowing the selection (with various filters) and editing (in text format) of data.
A Web site is dedicated to Eye and Pen use and hosts a demo version:http://www.eyeandpen.net/
- a Windows system (a user account with administrative rights is required to be able to install and use Eye and Pen).
- a digitizing tablet a Wintab32-compatible driver (this driver is supplied with the tablet). A list of compatible hardware vendors is available here:http://www.eyeandpen.net/
- a free USB slot for the SafeNet Sentinel dongle (security lock key).
- an eye tracker (optional):
• Applied Science Laboratories ASL504 (serial) ;
• Alphabio EyePuter ;
• S. R. Research Eyelink I, Eyelink II or Eyelink1000;
• SMI iViewX HED.
Eye and Pen 2 single user - grants permission to use Eye and Pen 2 to record and analyze experiment data on a single computer at a time.
Eye and Pen 2 with network option "5/10/15" acquisition hosts - grants permission to use Eye and Pen 2, either as a single user, or as a master host to synchronize and control up to "5, 10 or 15" data recording network clients.
Eye and Pen software and updates are downloadable as a trial version on the web site http://www.eyeandpen.net. Octares Edition sells the dongle that unlock the software to a full version at prices listed below. Payment at order (pro forma bill sent on demand). Support and assitance is available via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web site http://www.eyeandpen.net.