Francesco Walker

Assistant Professor Cognitive Psychology

Francesco Walker has a Masters Degree in cognitive neuropsychology from VU Amsterdam. In 2015, he developed a proposal to study the link between eye-movement behaviour and visitor perceptions of art in a museum setting. The resulting collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam produced the first ever analysis of the very different attentional strategies used by adults and children, when viewing paintings in an actual museum.

Children and Attention to Art

It’ll be a familiar scene to many a parent and museum visitor: children either frenetically doing a scavenger hunt through the museum or tearing through the galleries without stopping to admire the art. More research is needed to really understand what influences children’s aesthetic tastes. How do children really look at art? Do paintings affect them more if they receive information that is specially tailored to young visitors? Walker and his team are conducting research at the Rijksmuseum.