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Daniel Kim, Melanie Palomares, Howard Egeth; The interaction of body and gaze cues in directing attention. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):395. doi: 10.1167/5.8.395.
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We pay attention to the direction of eye gaze because it is an important social cue about other people's goals and intentions. There is a tendency to look where other people look, a phenomenon that seem to be automatic and innate. However, would the direction of the eye gaze be given attentional priority in the presence of other cues such as body direction? To answer this question, we measured reaction times to combinations of body and eye gaze cues in a numeral identification task. We found that numeral identification was significantly faster only when both eye gaze and body direction were congruent with the target location. Our results suggest that eye gaze direction does not cue our attentional priority to a location when it competes with body direction cues.
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