September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
Both cue directionality and mental perspective contribute to social attention
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Florence Mayrand
    McGill University
  • Sarah D. McCrackin
    McGill University
  • Francesca Capozzi
    McGill University
  • Jelena Ristic
    McGill University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  NSERC, SSHRC, William Dawson fund
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2309. doi:
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      Florence Mayrand, Sarah D. McCrackin, Francesca Capozzi, Jelena Ristic; Both cue directionality and mental perspective contribute to social attention. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2309.

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

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Research showing that visual perspective of others spontaneously interferes with our own has led to a stimulating debate about whether social attention effects are driven by the directionality of agent’s social cues, the perceived content of their minds, or both. Here, we use a novel task to dissociate the contributions of these two variables. Participants viewed an image of an avatar (N=51) or an arrow (N=57) at fixation. From their own perspective, participants located a peripheral target (number 8) that was presented with a distractor at an opposing location. The cue pointed at the target or at the distractor equally often. Further, the cue’s and the participants’ mental content either matched or mismatched depending on whether the cue indicated the target or the distractor. Replicating past work showing the typical effects of cue directionality, participants were overall faster to respond to targets when central cues pointed at the target. However, their responses were additionally facilitated when the perspective content matched relative to when it mismatched irrespective of cue type. As such, these results suggest that both cue directionality and mental content contribute to social attention and raise additional questions about the specific contributions of agency with social and non-social cues.


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