Social orienting in gaze leading: A mechanism for shared attention

Edwards, Gareth, Stephenson, Lisa, Dalmaso, Mario and Bayliss, Andrew ORCID: (2015) Social orienting in gaze leading: A mechanism for shared attention. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1812). ISSN 0962-8452

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Here we report a novel social orienting response that occurs after viewing averted gaze. We show, in three experiments, that when a person looks from one location to an object, attention then shifts towards the face of an individual who has subsequently followed the person’s gaze to that same object. That is, contrary to ‘gaze following’, attention instead orients in the opposite direction to observed gaze and towards the gazing face. The magnitude of attentional orienting towards a face that ‘follows’ the participants gaze is also associated with self-reported autism-like traits. We propose that this gaze leading phenomenon implies the existence of a mechanism in the human social cognitive system for detecting when one’s gaze has been followed, in order to establish ‘shared attention’ and maintain the ongoing interaction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: shared attention,gaze perception,social cognition
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2015 22:47
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2023 09:32
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1141

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