June 2004
Volume 4, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2004
Orienting to the direction of social gaze is head-centred
Author Affiliations
  • Andrew P. Bayliss
    School of Psychology, University of Wales, Bangor, United Kingdom
Journal of Vision August 2004, Vol.4, 831. doi:10.1167/4.8.831
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      Andrew P. Bayliss, Giuseppe di Pellegrino, Steven P. Tipper; Orienting to the direction of social gaze is head-centred. Journal of Vision 2004;4(8):831. doi: 10.1167/4.8.831.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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The observation of averted social gaze results in a reflexive shift of attention to the gazed-at location. In three experiments, the role of the orientation of the head that produces the gaze-cue was investigated. When the head is presented upright, standard cueing effects from non-predictive left or right eye-gaze cues were found (Expts. 1 & 2). However, the head could also be presented on its' side, 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. The pupils would still be positioned in the left or right of the eye, but since the head was on its' side, the actual gaze direction was either up or down. Nevertheless, significant cueing effects to targets presented to the left or right of the screen were found in these head rotation conditions. This pattern of results was found for manual (Expt. 1) and saccadic (Expt. 2) responses. Expt. 3 showed that removing the upright head conditions, and presenting targets at the top and bottom of the display with equiprobability as the left and right targets did not result in attenuation of the effect. In this experiment, spatial cueing to the actual direction of gaze (i.e. up or down) was also observed. These data suggest that attention can be directed to the side to which the eyes would have been looking, had the face been presented upright. This finding provides evidence that head orientation can affect orienting to perceived gaze direction, even when head orientation alone is not an attentional cue. It also shows that the mechanism responsible for the allocation of attention following a gaze-cue can be influenced by intrinsic object-based properties of the task-irrelevant cue.

Bayliss, A. P., di Pellegrino, G., Tipper, S. P.(2004). Orienting to the direction of social gaze is head-centred [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 4( 8): 831, 831a, http://journalofvision.org/4/8/831/, doi:10.1167/4.8.831. [CrossRef]
 This work was supported by an ESRC postgraduate studentship (no. R42200134055) awarded to A.B.

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