Eyes that bind us: Gaze leading induces an implicit sense of agency

Stephenson, Lisa J., Edwards, S. Gareth, Howard, Emma E. and Bayliss, Andrew P. (2018) Eyes that bind us: Gaze leading induces an implicit sense of agency. Cognition, 172. 124–133. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

Humans feel a sense of agency over the effects their motor system causes. This is the case for manual actions such as pushing buttons, kicking footballs, and all acts that affect the physical environment. We ask whether initiating joint attention – causing another person to follow our eye movement – can elicit an implicit sense of agency over this congruent gaze response. Eye movements themselves cannot directly affect the physical environment, but joint attention is an example of how eye movements can indirectly cause social outcomes. Here we show that leading the gaze of an on-screen face induces an underestimation of the temporal gap between action and consequence (Experiments 1 and 2). This underestimation effect, named ‘temporal binding,’ is thought to be a measure of an implicit sense of agency. Experiment 3 asked whether merely making an eye movement in a non-agentic, non-social context might also affect temporal estimation, and no reliable effects were detected, implying that inconsequential oculomotor acts do not reliably affect temporal estimations under these conditions. Together, these findings suggest that an implicit sense of agency is generated when initiating joint attention interactions. This is important for understanding how humans can efficiently detect and understand the social consequences of their actions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gaze leading,joint attention,sense of agency,social cognition,temporal binding
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 13:35
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2020 23:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/65741
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.12.011

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