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Vision 2017, 1(3), 19; doi:10.3390/vision1030019

Where Is Your Attention? Assessing Individual Instances of Covert Attentional Orienting in Response to Gaze and Arrow Cues

Department of Psychology, McGill University, Stewart Biological Sciences Building, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, QC H3A 1B1, Canada
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Academic Editors: Alessandro Soranzo, Wilson Christopher and Marco Bertamini
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Abstract

Humans spontaneously follow where others are looking. However, recent investigations suggest such gaze-following behavior during natural interactions occurs relatively infrequently, only in about a third of available instances. Here we investigated if a similar frequency of orienting is also found in laboratory tasks that measure covert attentional orienting using manual responses. To do so, in two experiments, we analyzed responses from a classic gaze cuing task, with arrow cues serving as control stimuli. We reasoned that the proportions of attentional benefits and costs, defined as responses falling outside of 1 standard deviation of the average performance for the neutral condition, would provide a good approximation of individual instances of attentional shifts. We found that although benefits and costs occurred in less than half of trials, benefits emerged on a greater proportion of validly cued relative to invalidly cued trials. This pattern of data held across two different measures of neutral performance, as assessed by Experiments 1 and 2, as well as across the two cue types. These results suggest that similarly to gaze-following in naturalistic settings, covert orienting within the cuing task also appears to occur relatively infrequently. View Full-Text
Keywords: attention; gaze following; eye direction attention; gaze following; eye direction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Blair, C.D.; Capozzi, F.; Ristic, J. Where Is Your Attention? Assessing Individual Instances of Covert Attentional Orienting in Response to Gaze and Arrow Cues. Vision 2017, 1, 19.

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