Responding to social and symbolic extrafoveal cues: cue shape trumps biological relevance

Hermens, Frouke and Bindemann, Markus and Burton, Mike (2017) Responding to social and symbolic extrafoveal cues: cue shape trumps biological relevance. Psychological Research, 81 (1). pp. 24-42. ISSN 0340-0727

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-015-0733-2

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Abstract

Social cues presented at visual fixation have been shown to strongly influence an observer's attention and response selection. Here we ask whether the same holds for cues (initially) presented away from fixation, more alike how cues are commonly perceived in natural vision. In six experiments, we show that extrafoveally presented cues with a distinct outline, such as pointing hands, rotated heads, and arrow cues result in strong cueing of responses (either to the cue itself, or a cued object). In contrast, cues without a clear outline, such as gazing eyes and direction words exert a much weaker effects on participants' responses to a target cue. We also show that distraction effects on response times are relatively weak, but that strong interference effects can be obtained by measuring mouse trajectories. Eye tracking suggests that gaze cues are slower to respond to because their direction cannot easily be perceived in extrafoveal vision. Together, these data suggest that the strength of an extrafoveal cue is determined by the shape of the cue outline, rather than its biological relevance (i.e., whether the cue is provided by another human being), and that this shape effect is due to how easily the direction of a cue can be perceived in extrafoveal vision.

Keywords:social cueing, symbolic cues, mouse tracking, eye tracking, extrafoveal cueing
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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http://purl.org/dc/terms/isVersionofhttp://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/18418/
ID Code:19818
Deposited On:16 Dec 2015 17:49

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