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Takemasa Yokoyama, Kazuya Ishibashi, Shinichi Kita; Enhanced detection in change via direct gaze: Evidence from a change blindness study. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):637. doi: 10.1167/10.7.637.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: A number of questions remain unclear regarding direct gaze. Does change via direct gaze elicit more specific attention than change via non-direct gaze? In addition, change via direct gaze can be categorized into two types: “look toward,” which means gaze changing to look toward observers, and “look away,” which means gaze changing to look away from observers. Which type of change via direct gaze triggers more specific attention? This study answers these questions.
Method: We conducted the one-shot paradigm of the flicker task. The task requires specific attention for change detection, otherwise change blindness occurs. We hence explored how change detection occurred through aspects of attention. To explore the above questions, we compared among “look away,” “look toward,” and non-direct gaze change. In experiments, we prepared six schematic faces positioned at 5 deg visual angle from the center fixation which observers were required to fixate their eyes to. In the direct gaze conditions, gaze changed from the center to both sides of eyes (“look away”) or from both sides to the center of eyes (“look toward”) whereas in the non-direct gaze conditions, gaze changed from side to side of eyes.
Results and Discussion: The experiments indicated that detection of change via direct gaze was more significantly accurate than detection of change via non-direct gaze. A post hoc analysis showed “look toward” was more effectively detected than “look away”. Moreover, under manipulating distance of gaze change, explanation by simple motion detection was excluded. Our study showed two novel findings. First, change via direct gaze drew more particular attention than non-direct gaze. Second, “look toward” elicits more specific attention than “look away.” These results demonstrate that individuals pay more attention when they perceive direct gaze and that “look toward” draw their more specific attention than “look away” in direct gaze.
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