Filtering Eye-Tracking Data from an EyeLink 1000: Comparing Heuristic, Savitzky-Golay, IIR and FIR Digital Filters




Raju, Mehedi H.
Friedman, Lee
Bouman, Troy M.
Komogortsev, Oleg

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In a previous report (Raju et al.,2023) we concluded that, if the goal was to preserve events such as saccades, microsaccades, and smooth pursuit in eye-tracking recordings, data with sine wave frequencies less than 100 Hz (-3db) were the signal and data above 100 Hz were noise. We compare 5 filters in their ability to preserve signal and remove noise. Specifically, we compared the proprietary STD and EXTRA heuristic filters provided by our EyeLink 1000 (SR-Research, Ottawa, Canada), a Savitzky-Golay (SG) filter, an infinite impulse response (IIR) filter (low-pass Butterworth), and a finite impulse filter (FIR). For each of the non-heuristic filters, we systematically searched for optimal parameters. Both the IIR and the FIR filters were zero-phase filters. Mean frequency response profiles and amplitude spectra for all 5 filters are provided. In addition, we examined the effect of our filters on a noisy recording. Our FIR filter had the sharpest roll-off of any filter. Therefore, it maintained the signal and removed noise more effectively than any other filter. On this basis, we recommend the use of our FIR filter. Several reports have shown that filtering increased the temporal autocorrelation of a signal. To address this, the present filters were also evaluated in terms of autocorrelation (specifically the first 3 lags). Of all our filters, the STD filter introduced the least amount of autocorrelation.



eye tracking, fourier transform, frequency response, filters, Computer Science


Raju, M. H., Friedman, L., Bouman, T. M., & Komogortsev, O. V. (2023). Filtering eye-tracking data from an EyeLink 1000: Comparing heuristic, Savitzky-Golay, IIR and FIR digital filters. [Preprint].


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