Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly

Frouke Hermens, Robin Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2120-40
Number of pages21
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume63
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cues
Eye Movements

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention/physiology
  • Cues
  • Face
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular/physiology
  • Humans
  • Photic Stimulation/methods
  • Reaction Time/physiology
  • Saccades/physiology
  • Social Behavior
  • Young Adult

Cite this

Hermens, Frouke ; Walker, Robin. / Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly. In: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 2010 ; Vol. 63, No. 11. pp. 2120-40.
@article{263c7577b2f64b9db6318659550218f8,
title = "Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly",
abstract = "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 = "Adolescent, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Attention/physiology, Cues, Face, Female, Fixation, Ocular/physiology, Humans, Photic Stimulation/methods, Reaction Time/physiology, Saccades/physiology, Social Behavior, Young Adult",
author = "Frouke Hermens and Robin Walker",
year = "2010",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1080/17470211003718721",
language = "English",
volume = "63",
pages = "2120--40",
journal = "The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology",
issn = "1747-0218",
publisher = "ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD",
number = "11",

}

Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly. / Hermens, Frouke; Walker, Robin.

In: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol. 63, No. 11, 11.2010, p. 2120-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gaze and arrow distractors influence saccade trajectories similarly

AU - Hermens, Frouke

AU - Walker, Robin

PY - 2010/11

Y1 - 2010/11

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Adolescent

KW - Adult

KW - Analysis of Variance

KW - Attention/physiology

KW - Cues

KW - Face

KW - Female

KW - Fixation, Ocular/physiology

KW - Humans

KW - Photic Stimulation/methods

KW - Reaction Time/physiology

KW - Saccades/physiology

KW - Social Behavior

KW - Young Adult

U2 - 10.1080/17470211003718721

DO - 10.1080/17470211003718721

M3 - Article

VL - 63

SP - 2120

EP - 2140

JO - The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

JF - The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

SN - 1747-0218

IS - 11

ER -