Effects of peripheral eccentricity and head orientation on gaze discrimination
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Visual search tasks support a special role for direct gaze in human cognition, while classic gaze judgement tasks suggest the congruency between head orientation and gaze direction plays a central role in gaze perception. Moreover, whether gaze direction can be accurately discriminated in the periphery using covert attention is unknown. In the present study, individual faces in frontal and in deviated head orientations with a direct or an averted gaze were flashed for 150 ms across the visual fieldparticipants focused on a centred fixation while judging the gaze direction. Gaze discrimination speed and accuracy varied with head orientation and eccentricity. The limit of accurate gaze discrimination was less than ±6° eccentricity. Response times suggested a processing facilitation for direct gaze in fovea, irrespective of head orientation, however, by ±3° eccentricity, head orientation started biasing gaze judgements, and this bias increased with eccentricity. Results also suggested a special processing of frontal heads with direct gaze in central vision, rather than a general congruency effect between eye and head cues. Thus, while both head and eye cues contribute to gaze discrimination, their role differs with eccentricity.
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Adam Palanica, Roxane J. Itier (2014). Effects of peripheral eccentricity and head orientation on gaze discrimination. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11415