Isabelle Mareschel, Queen Mary University of London
Characteristics of gaze processing in adults
How we process another person’s direction of gaze is an important component of non-verbal communication and brings together elements of social and clinical psychology. Here I will
discuss the use of conventional psychophysical techniques to elucidate the mechanisms underlying gaze processing in human adult observers. In a first set of experiments, we used an
adaptation protocol to show that gaze isn’t coded by cardinal (left/right and up/down) mechanisms only. Following that, we used a discrimination paradigm with different
levels of uncertainty to demonstrate that normal adult observers have a prior expectation that another’s gaze is directed towards them. In a final set of experiments I will discuss
categorization procedures to examine how social factors may influence the range of gaze deviations that an observer judges to be directed at them (the cone of direct gaze).