August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Race differences in eye movements to three-quarter view faces
Author Affiliations
  • Kate Crookes
    University of Hong Kong
  • William Hayward
    University of Hong Kong
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 988. doi:
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      Kate Crookes, William Hayward; Race differences in eye movements to three-quarter view faces. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):988.

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

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A number of studies have shown a difference between Asian and Caucasian participants in fixation patterns to faces. Caucasian participants’ fixations are concentrated on the eyes, whereas Asian participants fixate more centrally on the nose region. All previous studies exploring race differences have used front view faces. The present study investigated whether this preference for fixating the nose in Asian participants extends to three-quarter (mid-profile) view faces. Eye movements were monitored during the learning and recognition phases of a memory task for three-quarter view Asian and Caucasian faces. We found Hong Kong Chinese participants predominantly fixated both the nose and central-eye (eye closest to the observer) regions of the three-quarter view faces at both study and test. There was no difference in the proportion of fixations to the nose and the central eye, and we found that Asian and Caucasian faces elicited similar fixation patterns. These results differ from previous findings for front view faces where Asian participants showed a significantly greater proportion of fixations towards the nose than the eyes. The results also differ from recent findings for three-quarter view faces in Caucasian participants where the central eye received a far higher proportion of fixations than the nose. These results suggest that race influences fixation patterns to non-frontal views of faces.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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