Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

The effect of gaze on gaze direction while looking at art

VIEWS: 78 PAGES: 8

In highly controlled cuing experiments, conspecific gaze direction has powerful effects on an observer's attention. We explored the generality of this effect by using paintings in which the gaze direction of a key character had been carefully manipulated. Our observers looked at these paintings in one of three instructional states (neutral, social, or spatial) while we monitored their eye movements. Overt orienting was much less influenced by the critical gaze direction than what the cuing literature might suggest: An analysis of the direction of saccades following the first fixation of the critical gaze showed that observers were weakly biased to orient in the direction of the gaze. Over longer periods of viewing, however, this effect disappeared for all but the social condition. This restriction of gaze as an attentional cue to a social context is consistent with the idea that the evolution of gaze direction detection is rooted in social communication. The picture stimuli from this experiment can be downloaded from the Psychonomic Society's Archive of Norms, Stimuli, and Data, www.psychonomic.org/archive. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

More Info
									Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
2008, 15 (6), 1141-1147
doi:10.3758/PBR.15.6.1141




                              The effect of gaze on gaze direction
                                      while looking at art
                                 Kristie r. DuKewich, raymonD m. Klein, anD John christie
                                            Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

                In highly controlled cuing experiments, conspecific gaze direction has powerful effects on an observer’s atten-
             tion. We explored the generality of this effect by using paintings in which the gaze direction of a key character had
             been carefully manipulated. Our observers looked at these paintings in one of three instructional states (neutral,
             social, or spatial) while we monitored their eye movements. Overt orienting was much less influenced by the criti-
             cal gaze direction than what the cuing literature might suggest: An analysis of the direction of saccades following
             the first fixation of the critical gaze showed that observers were weakly biased to orient in the direction of the
             gaze. Over longer periods of viewing, however, this effect disappeared for all but the social condition. This restric-
             tion of gaze as an attentional cue to a social context is consistent with the idea that the evolution of gaze direction
             detection is rooted in social communication. The picture stimuli from this experiment can be downloaded from
             the Psychonomic Society’s Archive of Norms, Stimuli, and Data, www.psychonomic.org/archive.



   Gaze direction has evolved to become an incredibly sa-                    Behavioral experiments on adults have demonstrated
lient and complex cue that helps to govern social interac-                that others’ gaze direction continues to be an important
tions. Frischen, Bayliss, and Tipper (2007) have pointed                  cue for social interactions and can act specifically as a
out that the sensation of being observed is a familiar                    powerful, biologically relevant attentional cue. Friesen
experience, implying, at least subjectively, that the gaze                and Kingstone (1998) were among the first to explore the
of others is a highly salient stimulus. Between friends,                  effects of gaze cues on attention using a modified Posner
simple shifts in gaze can convey a host of information,                   cuing paradigm. Participants were presented with a sche-
from disapproval or annoyance to future intended actions.                 matic face stimulus at center, followed by the presentation
Neurophysiological experiments on nonhuman primates                       of the pupils’ looking either left or right. The participants
and neuroimaging studies on humans have confirmed the                     were then presented with one of two possible targets on
colloquial assumption that gaze is special, revealing the                 either the left or the right side of the screen, which they
existence of a network in the superior temporal sulcus                    were asked to identify. Participants were faster when the
that is specialized for the perception of social stimuli,                 target appeared in the gazed-at location than when it ap-
including biological motion and gaze direction (for a re-                 peared in the opposite location, suggesting that gaze cues
view, see Puce & Perrett, 2003). In addition, evidence                    trigger a reflexive shift of attention. Researchers have
has emerged to suggest that it is the eyes that make face                 shown that the shift of attention in response to gaze is
processing in the brain special (Itier, Alain, Sedore, &                  rapid (Driver et al., 1999; Friesen & Kingstone, 1998;
McIntosh, 2007). The developmental literature converges                   Langton & Bruce, 1999) and that it occurs even when
on the claim that another’s gaze direction can influence                  participants are informed that the gaze cue is nonpredic-
an observer’s behavior. Hood, Willen, and Driver (1998)                   tive of target location (Friesen & Kingstone, 1998), two
demonstrated that neonates as young as 3 months old will                  characteristics that are typically not seen together in re-
orient in the direction of an adult’s gaze if they perceive               sponse to centrally presented, meaningful, or informative
an eye movement (see also Farroni, Mansfield, Lai, &                      attentional cues (Friesen & Kingstone, 2003). Although
Johnson, 2003), and Moore, Angelopoulos, and Bennett                      similar shifts of attention have been obtained in adults
(1997) showed that infants at 9 months can orient in the                  (Kuhn & Benson, 2007; Ristic, Friesen, & Kingstone,
direction of gaze based on static images. Observed gaze                   2002; Tipples, 2002) in response to uninformative arrow
direction eventually informs higher order cognitive abili-                cues, this has yet to be seen in infants and, hence, is more
ties, such as vocabulary acquisition (see, e.g., Morales                  likely due to previous experience (learning) than to any
et al., 2000). In addition, joint attention at 20 months                  sort of developmentally emergent behavior, su
								
To top