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Human spontaneous gaze patterns in viewing of faces of \ud different species

By Kun Guo, David Tunnicliffe and Hettie Roebuck


Human studies have reported clear differences in perceptual and neural processing of faces of different species, implying the contribution of visual experience to face perception. Can these differences be manifested in our eye scanning patterns while extracting salient facial information? Here we systematically compared non-pet owners’ gaze patterns while exploring human, monkey, dog and cat faces in a passive viewing task. Our analysis revealed that the faces of different species induced similar patterns of fixation distribution between left and right hemi-face, and among key local facial features with the eyes attracting the highest proportion of fixations and viewing times, followed by the nose and then the mouth. Only the proportion of fixation directed at the mouth region was species-dependent and could be differentiated at the earliest stage of face viewing. It seems that our spontaneous eye scanning patterns associated with face exploration were mainly constrained by general facial configurations; the species affiliation of the inspected faces had limited impact on gaze allocation, at least under free viewing conditions

Topics: C800 Psychology, C850 Cognitive Psychology, C830 Experimental Psychology
Publisher: Pion
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1068/p6517
OAI identifier:

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