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An-Yi Chang, Su-Ling Yeh; Join my attention by looking at my back: The back of head orientation can serve as both supraliminal and subliminal orienting cues. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1272. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1272.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Viewing someones gaze or head orientation frontally induces the viewers joint attention by shifting attention to where the gaze or head is oriented. The present study investigated whether viewing the back of an averted head will induce attentional shift as it does in the front view. The Posner cueing paradigm was adopted using images of the backs of heads as orienting cues that were presented visibly (Experiment 1) or invisibly (Experiment 2) by using a backward masking paradigm. The head images looked to the left or right side. The target tilt grating appeared on the faced-to side (valid cue) or the opposite side (invalid cue). Participants were asked to indicate the tilt orientation of the grating by pressing buttons with their left or right hand. Results showed that both the supraliminal (Experiment 1) and subliminal (Experiment 2) valid cue facilitated the response to target, suggesting that the back of an averted head also guides our attention. Moreover, we also found a cue-response compatible effect: when the response hand was congruent with the cued side, the reaction time was significantly faster than in the incongruent condition. This is the first study demonstrating attentional orienting by the back of averted heads regardless of awareness. Furthermore, the back of head orientation not only orients our attention but also facilitates the action of the related side.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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