This week's Psychonomic Seminar is a presentation by Dr Andrew Bayliss on "Social gaze: Attention, emotion and individual differences". Abstract and a short bio below.
Social gaze: Attention, emotion and individual differences
Gaze perception is a key component of social cognition that provides an insight into the mind of other people. By engaging in joint attention with another person, we align our own attention system with theirs. Recently, gaze perception has been investigated using the 'gaze cueing' paradigm, an adapted Posner cueing paradigm that uses observed gaze shifts as cues to attention. I will overview my work that has used this approach to investigate the three components of a joint attention episode: the cueing face, the observer and the object that is the target of joint attention. Firstly, I have shown that gaze cueing can operate in multiple spatial frames of reference. Secondly, the effects of gaze cues on attention are significantly stronger in females than in males. Further, the effects vary along the autistic spectrum in the normal population. Finally, the emotional expression of the face providing the gaze cues modulates the observers' affective evaluations of both the looked-at objects and the faces that produce the cue.
Andrew was awarded his PhD in 2004 from Bangor University in Bangor, Wales. He held two postdoctoral fellowships there from 2005. Andrew is now with UQ as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Ada Kritikos.
Hope to see you there!