Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly

Hermens, Frouke and Walker, Robin (2010) Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology, 63 (11). pp. 2120-2140. ISSN 1747-0218

Full content URL:

Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly

Request a copy
[img] PDF
__ddat02_staffhome_jpartridge_17470211003718721.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Perceiving someone's averted eye-gaze is thought to result in an automatic shift of attention and in the preparation of an oculomotor response in the direction of perceived gaze. Although gaze cues have been regarded as being special in this respect, recent studies have found evidence for automatic attention shifts with nonsocial stimuli, such as arrow cues. Here, we directly compared the effects of social and nonsocial cues on eye movement preparation by examining the modulation of saccade trajectories made in the presence of eye-gaze, arrows, or peripheral distractors. At a short stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the distractor and the target, saccades deviated towards the direction of centrally presented arrow distractors, but away from the peripheral distractors. No significant trajectory deviations were found for gaze distractors. At the longer SOA, saccades deviated away from the direction of the distractor for all three distractor types, but deviations were smaller for the centrally presented gaze and arrow distractors. These effects were independent of whether line-drawings or photos of faces were used and could not be explained by differences in the spatial properties of the peripheral distractor. The results suggest that all three types of distractors (gaze, arrow, peripheral) can induce the automatic programming of an eye movement. Moreover, the findings suggest that gaze and arrow distractors affect oculomotor preparation similarly, whereas peripheral distractors, which are classically regarded as eliciting an automatic shift of attention and an oculomotor response, induce a stronger and faster acting influence on response preparation and the corresponding inhibition of that response.

Keywords:eye movements, social attention, Saccade trajectories
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:16375
Deposited On:09 Jan 2015 11:35

Repository Staff Only: item control page