Some psychological studies have shown that changes in gaze direction trigger reflexive shifts of attention. The cortical region responding to eye gaze has connections with both of the two visual pathways responsible for spatial orientation and feature analysis. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of gaze-triggered attention on these two visual functions. Participants engaged in both location and orientation discrimination tasks with an uninformative gaze cue. The results indicate that the gaze direction of a schematic face facilitates responses only in the location discrimination task, and not in the orientation discrimination task. These results suggest a specific contribution of gaze perception to the processing of spatial orientation information. Moreover, further analysis of the data revealed that the compatibility between the gaze direction and the target location would be retained in implicit short-term memory.
- Gaze perception
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