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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Do the eyes have it? Cues to the direction of social attention
Author(s): Langton, Stephen
Watt, Roger
Bruce, Vicki
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Keywords: Neuroscience
Social attention
Gaze perception
Gaze following
Pointing gestures
Gaze cueing
Issue Date: Feb-2000
Citation: Langton S, Watt R & Bruce V (2000) Do the eyes have it? Cues to the direction of social attention, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4 (2), pp. 50-59.
Abstract: The face communicates an impressive amount of visual information. We use it to identify its owner, how they are feeling and to help us understand what they are saying. Models of face processing have considered how we extract such meaning from the face but have ignored another important signal - eye gaze. In this article we begin by reviewing evidence from recent neurophysiological studies that suggests that the eyes constitute a special stimulus in at least two senses. First, the structure of the eyes is such that it provides us with a particularly powerful signal to the direction of another person's gaze, and second, we may have evolved neural mechanisms devoted to gaze processing. As a result, gaze direction is analysed rapidly and automatically, and is able to trigger reflexive shifts of an observer's visual attention. However, understanding where another individual is directing their attention involves more than simply analysing their gaze direction. We go on to describe research with adult participants, children and non-human primates that suggests that other cues such as head orientation and pointing gestures make significant contributions to the computation of another's direction of attention.
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Rights: Publisher allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences by Cell Press with the following policy: Authors may post a revised personal version of the final text (including illustrations and tables) of the article (to reflect changes made in the peer review and editing process) on your personal or institutional website or server, with a link (through the relevant DOI) to the article as published, provided that such postings are not for commercial purposes

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