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Yoshiyuki Ueda, Masato Nunoi, Kenshiro Ichimura, Yuki Shirasuna, Masahiro Fujino; Saccade trajectories are immediately curved in accordance with the degree of threat from task-irrelevant stimuli. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):512. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.512.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous research has demonstrated that a task-irrelevant threat-related face which is presented peripherally influences spatial attention and oculomotor control (e.g., Schmidt, Belopolsky, & Theeuwes, 2012; Ueda & Yoshikawa, 2012). Accurate attention allocation to threat-related stimuli is crucial for survival; therefore, the type and direction of a facial expression is important. However, the immediate information obtained from peripherally presented faces, as well as a plan for action based on this information, is not well known. We examined the effect of head direction and emotion of task-irrelevant faces on saccadic eye movements. A central fixation cross was presented with two additional crosses, which were located above and below the fixation. After a random interval between 800 and 1300 ms, the central cross changed into either an upward or downward arrow; participants moved their eyes to the additional cross as directed by the arrow as quickly and accurately as possible. While the central cross changed, one facial expression and one neutral object were presented as distractors to the left and right of the midpoint between the central and the above/below crosses. In half of the trials, the distractor face was oriented straightforward (direct condition) whereas in the other trials, the face was directed 45째 away from straightforward (averted condition). Results from saccade trajectories showed that participants were more likely to move their eyes while curving away from angry faces rather than the happy faces regardless of direction. Moreover, saccade trajectory curvatures were diverted more away from both direct angry and happy faces than from averted faces. These results suggest that recognition of peripheral faces achieved by accurate and immediate processing of facial expressions and head direction produces immediate oculomotor control.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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