Adult's Eyes Trigger Shifts of Visual Attention in Human Infants

  title={Adult's Eyes Trigger Shifts of Visual Attention in Human Infants},
  author={Bruce M. Hood and J D Willen and Jon Driver},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={131 - 134}
Two experiments examined whether infants shift their visual attention in the direction toward which an adult's eyes turn. A computerized modification of previous joint-attention paradigms revealed that infants as young as 3 months attend in the same direction as the eyes of a digitized adult face. This attention shift was indicated by the latency and direction of their orienting to peripheral probes presented after the face was extinguished. A second experiment found a similar influence of… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

What are you looking at? Infants' neural processing of an adult's object-directed eye gaze.
An ERP paradigm was applied to investigate the neural processes underlying the perception of the direction of an adult's eye gaze in 4-month-old infants to address the question of how infants process the relation between another person and an external object.
Adult gaze influences infant attention and object processing: implications for cognitive neuroscience
Findings show that adult eye gaze biases infant visual attention and information processing.
Mechanisms of Eye Gaze Perception during Infancy
The results support the previous finding that cortical processing of faces in infants is enhanced when accompanied by direct gaze, however, this effect is only found when eyes are presented within the context of an upright face.
Head and eye movements affect object processing in 4-month-old infants more than an artificial orientation cue.
It is concluded that human head orientation and gaze direction affect infant's object-directed attention, whereas movement and orientation of a car have only limited influence on infants' object processing.
Infants' use of gaze direction to cue attention: The importance of perceived motion
Three experiments were carried out with 4 to 5-month-old infants using the eye gaze cueing paradigm of Hood, Willen, and Driver (1998). Experiment 1 replicated the previous finding that infants are
Disentangling the Effects of an Adult Model's Eye Gaze and Head Orientation on Young Infants' Processing of a Previously Attended Object
In order to disentangle the effects of an adult model's eye gaze and head orientation on infants' processing of objects attended to by the adult, we presented 4-month-olds with faces that either (1)
Dynamic pointing triggers shifts of visual attention in young infants.
The results suggest that infants are prepared to orient to the distal referent of a pointing gesture which likely contributes to their learning the communicative function of pointing.
The developmental trajectory of attentional orienting to socio-biological cues
The results suggest that although young children are strongly engaged by centrally presented eye gaze cues, the directional influence of such cues on overt attentional orienting is only present in older children, meaning that the effect is unlikely to be dependent upon an innate brain module.
Attention orienting by another's gaze direction in children with autism.
The results seem to suggest that, in children with autism, the visual system processes information about another person's gaze direction and sends this information to those areas that subserve reflexive attention orienting.


Gaze detection and the cortical processing of faces: Evidence from infants and adults
Abstract Faces, as a class of objects, have been studied extensively in order to understand how the human visual system recognizes and represents objects. In this paper we studied the ontogeny of the
Infant sensitivity to adult eye direction.
Experimental infants' smiling declined whenever adults looked away; their visual attention simply decreased across periods; control infants showed little change in gaze or smiling across periods.
What minds have in common is space : Spatial mechanisms serving joint visual attention in infancy
A series of experiments is reported which show that three successive mechanisms are involved in the first 18 months of life in ‘looking where someone else is looking’. The earliest ‘ecological’
The capacity for joint visual attention in the infant
The ability of the infant to respond successfully to such signals allows the mother to isolate and highlight a much wider range of environmental features than if the infant ignores her attention-directing efforts.
Components of Visual Orienting in Early Infancy: Contingency Learning, Anticipatory Looking, and Disengaging
Results indicated that only the 4--month-old group was easily able to disengage from an attractive central stimulus to orient toward a simultaneously presented target, consistent with the predictions of matura-tional accounts of the development of visual orienting.
Cortical Maturation and the Development of Visual Attention in Early Infancy
A reanalysis of the relation between the maturation of cortical pathways and the development of visually guided behavior is presented, focusing in particular on how the maturational state of the primary visual cortex may constrain the functioning of neural pathways subserving oculomotor control.
Are children with autism blind to the mentalistic significance of the eyes
Findings suggest that part of the explanation for the gaze abnormalities in autism may be a failure to comprehend that the eyes convey information about a person's mental states.
Joint attention : its origins and role in development
This chapter discusses the development of Joint Attention in Premature Low Birth Weight Infants: Effects of Early Medical Complications and Maternal Attention-Directing Behaviors, and the role of affect and culture in this development.