SATO Wataru Laboratory

Automatic attentional shifts by gaze, gestures, and symbols

(Sato, Kochiyama, Uono, & Yoshikawa: Psychologia)

Previous studies suggest that attention shift can be automatically triggered commonly by gaze and hand gestures of other individuals and symbols, but this idea remains controversial.

We investigated this issue with two experiments using a cuing paradigm.
The non-predictive cue was centrally presented before target presentation in the periphery.
The cues were photographic stimuli indicating averted or neutral directions, which were expressed by eyes, a hand, or an arrow.

Valid cues consistently shortened the reaction time needed to localize the targets compared with invalid or neutral cues for all three types of stimuli.

These results suggest a common psychological mechanism for automatic attentional shift triggered by gaze, gestures, and symbols.

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