Consistent left gaze bias in processing different facial cues

Guo, Kun and Smith, Claire and Powell, Kathryn and Nicholls, Kelly (2012) Consistent left gaze bias in processing different facial cues. Psychological Research, 76 (3). pp. 263-269. ISSN 0340-0727

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Consistent left gaze bias in processing different facial cues
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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-011-0340-9

Abstract

While viewing faces, humans often demonstrate a natural gaze bias towards the left visual field, that is, the right side of the viewee’s face is often inspected first
and for longer periods. Previous studies have suggested that this gaze asymmetry is part of the gaze pattern associated with face exploration, but its relation with
perceptual processing of facial cues is unclear. In this study we recorded participants’ saccadic eye movements while exploring face images under different task instructions (free-viewing, judging familiarity and judging facial expression). We observed a consistent left gaze bias in face viewing irrespective of task demands. The probability of the first fixation and the proportion of overall fixations directed at the left hemiface
were indistinguishable across different task instructions or across different facial expressions. It seems that the left gaze bias is an automatic reflection of hemispheric
lateralisation in face processing, and is not necessarily correlated with the perceptual processing of a specific type of facial information.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:While viewing faces, humans often demonstrate a natural gaze bias towards the left visual field, that is, the right side of the viewee’s face is often inspected first and for longer periods. Previous studies have suggested that this gaze asymmetry is part of the gaze pattern associated with face exploration, but its relation with perceptual processing of facial cues is unclear. In this study we recorded participants’ saccadic eye movements while exploring face images under different task instructions (free-viewing, judging familiarity and judging facial expression). We observed a consistent left gaze bias in face viewing irrespective of task demands. The probability of the first fixation and the proportion of overall fixations directed at the left hemiface were indistinguishable across different task instructions or across different facial expressions. It seems that the left gaze bias is an automatic reflection of hemispheric lateralisation in face processing, and is not necessarily correlated with the perceptual processing of a specific type of facial information.
Keywords:Gaze bias, Faces, Task demands, Human
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:4460
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:03 May 2011 10:57
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:59

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