A direct gaze enhances face perceptionAugust 14, 2008
This finding demonstrates the key importance of gaze direction in human interaction and shows how another person's gaze direction affects even the most basic facial perception. "Our studies also show that the eye contact between two persons and an averted gaze affect the functions of the neural mechanisms that regulate approach and avoidance behaviour. Another person's direct gaze prepares for an approach, an averted gaze for avoidance," said head of the research, Professor Jari Hietanen from the University of Tampere at the Academy's Science Breakfast.
The results of the research, which measured the function of the brain's frontal lobes by means of electroencephalography (EEG), indicate that during the observation of a direct gaze the left frontal lobe of the test subjects was more active than the right frontal lobe. During the observation of an averted gaze the situation was opposite. The left-dominated activation asymmetry is linked to an approach and the right-dominated to avoidance. This was the first time it was shown through physiological measurements that another person's gaze direction affects brain systems that are involved in the regulation of fundamental human motivational reactions.
New methods to diagnose autism and mental disorders
The results of the project shed useful light on emotional reactions related to the perception of human faces and how these reactions develop. "The deviations related to eye contact in people with autism are one of the earliest and most typical problems, and our studies make it possible to find out why people with autistic behaviour avoid eye contact," Hietanen said.
As atypical emotional reactions to various social stimuli, for instance other people's facial expressions, most likely play a key role in different types of mental disorders, the knowledge generated by the research project also provides an opportunity to develop efficient methods for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
Academy of Finland
Related Gaze Current Events and Gaze News Articles
Making robots more human
Most people are naturally adept at reading facial expressions -- from smiling and frowning to brow-furrowing and eye-rolling -- to tell what others are feeling. Now scientists have developed ultra-sensitive, wearable sensors that can do the same thing.
Ambiguous situations make it easier to justify ethical transgressions
To maintain the idea that we are moral people, we tend to lie or cheat only to the extent that we can justify our transgressions.
New emotion recognition model
Philosophers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have put forward a new model that explains how humans recognise the emotions of others.
Interview blues -- anxious, slow talkers often do not get the job
Researchers offer a few tips for those who are worried that their nerves might stand between them and acing their next job interview.
Antibiotic resistance risk for coastal water users
Recreational users of coastal waters such as swimmers and surfers are at risk of exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria, according to new research published this week.
Moral decisions can be influenced by eye tracking
Our opinions are affected by what our eyes are focusing on in the same instant we make moral decisions. Researchers at Lund University and other institutions have managed to influence people's responses to questions such as "is murder defensible?" by tracking their eye movements.
Moral decisions can be manipulated by eye tracking
Moral decisions can be influenced by tracking moment to moment movements of the eyes during deliberation, finds new research from Lund University, Sweden, University College London and University of California Merced.
Babies can identify complex social situations and react accordingly
In the social world, people constantly gather information through visual cues that are used to evaluate others and interact.
Picture this: Technology tightens the focus on who's watching women
A new analysis is being called the first of its kind to examine visual attention and gender in social groups, and how those observations can influence the behavior of who's getting the looks.
Family voices and stories speed coma recovery
"Can he hear me?" family members are desperate to know when a loved one with a traumatic brain injury is in a coma.
More Gaze Current Events and Gaze News Articles