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Anticipating intentional actions: The effect of eye gaze direction on the judgment of head rotation

Hudson, Matthew, Hong Liu, Chang and Jellema, Tjeerd (2009) Anticipating intentional actions: The effect of eye gaze direction on the judgment of head rotation. Cognition, 112 (3). pp. 423-434. ISSN 0010-0277

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Using a representational momentum paradigm, this study investigated the hypothesis that judgments of how far another agent’s head has rotated are influenced by the perceived gaze direction of the head. Participants observed a video-clip of a face rotating 60° towards them starting from the left or right profile view. The gaze direction of the face was either congruent with, ahead of, or lagging behind the angle of rotation. Following this, two static faces, at varying angles of rotation with respect to the end-point angle of the face in the video-clip, were presented simultaneously. The task of the participants was to decide which of the two heads was at an angle best resembling the angle of the end-point of the moving face. The critical test condition consisted of one test face oriented at 10° before, and the other at 10° after the end-point. The ‘lagging behind’ gaze condition elicited a significant underestimation of the rotation compared to the ‘congruent’ and ‘ahead’ gaze conditions. Participants did not exhibit similar biases when judging the rotation of several non-face control stimuli with visual features that mimicked different aspects of gaze direction. The findings suggest that when the gaze direction of a perceived agent is incongruent with the direction of the agent’s head motion observers automatically utilise this discrepancy to adjust their inferences about the agent’s intended heading direction.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognition
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 09:10
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2018 09:10

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