Observing averted eye gaze results in the automatic allocation of attention to the gazed-at location. The role of the orientation of the face that produces the gaze cue was investigated. The eyes in the face could look left or right in a head-centred frame, but the face itself could be oriented 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise such that the eyes were gazing up or down. Significant cueing effects to targets presented to the left or right of the screen were found in these head orientation conditions. This suggests that attention was directed to the side to which the eyes would have been looking towards, had the face been presented upright. This finding provides evidence that head orientation can affect gaze following, even when the head orientation alone is not a social cue. It also shows that the mechanism responsible for the allocation of attention following a gaze cue can be influenced by intrinsic object-based (i.e. head-centred) properties of the task-irrelevant cue.
|Publication status||Published - 2004|