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Gaze following is modulated by expectations regarding others' action goals
Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich.
Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich.
Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax.
Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3323-7357
2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 11, article id e0143614Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humans attend to social cues in order to understand and predict others' behavior. Facial expressions and gaze direction provide valuable information to infer others' mental states and intentions. The present study examined the mechanism of gaze following in the context of participants' expectations about successive action steps of an observed actor. We embedded a gaze-cueing manipulation within an action scenario consisting of a sequence of naturalistic photographs. Gaze-induced orienting of attention (gaze following) was analyzed with respect to whether the gaze behavior of the observed actor was in line or not with the action-related expectations of participants (i.e., whether the actor gazed at an object that was congruent or incongruent with an overarching action goal). In Experiment 1, participants followed the gaze of the observed agent, though the gaze-cueing effect was larger when the actor looked at an action-congruent object relative to an incongruent object. Experiment 2 examined whether the pattern of effects observed in Experiment 1 was due to covert, rather than overt, attentional orienting, by requiring participants to maintain eye fixation throughout the sequence of critical photographs (corroborated by monitoring eye movements). The essential pattern of results of Experiment 1 was replicated, with the gazecueing effect being completely eliminated when the observed agent gazed at an actionincongruent object. Thus, our findings show that covert gaze following can be modulated by expectations that humans hold regarding successive steps of the action performed by an observed agent. © 2015 Perez-Osorio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 11, article id e0143614
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Engineering Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-8285DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143614Local ID: 6c650bf4-488b-4bd6-a4d9-e957e53fde1dOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-8285DiVA, id: diva2:981177
Note
Upprättat; 2015; 20160601 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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Wykowska, Agnieszka

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