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Attentional shifts by gaze direction in voluntary orienting: evidence from a microsaccade study.

Yokoyama T, Noguchi Y, Kita S - Exp Brain Res (2012)

Bottom Line: We found that microsaccade direction followed cue direction between 200 and 400 ms after gaze cues were presented.The results in Experiment 2 were consistent with those from Experiment 1.Taken together, these results indicate that the shift in spatial attention elicited by gaze direction is voluntary orienting.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan. yokoyama@lit.kobe-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT
Shifts in spatial attention can be induced by the gaze direction of another. However, it is unclear whether gaze direction influences the allocation of attention by reflexive or voluntary orienting. The present study was designed to examine which type of attentional orienting is elicited by gaze direction. We conducted two experiments to answer this question. In Experiment 1, we used a modified Posner paradigm with gaze cues and measured microsaccades to index the allocation of attention. We found that microsaccade direction followed cue direction between 200 and 400 ms after gaze cues were presented. This is consistent with the latencies observed in other microsaccade studies in which voluntary orienting is manipulated, suggesting that gaze direction elicits voluntary orienting. However, Experiment 1 did not separate voluntary and reflexive orienting directionally, so in Experiment 2, we used an anticue task in which cue direction (direction to allocate attention) was the opposite of gaze direction (direction of gaze in depicted face). The results in Experiment 2 were consistent with those from Experiment 1. Microsaccade direction followed the cue direction, not gaze direction. Taken together, these results indicate that the shift in spatial attention elicited by gaze direction is voluntary orienting.

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Microsaccade data in Experiment 2. Unlike Experiment 1, gaze direction and cue direction were different in Experiment 2. a Polar plot histogram of microsaccades. Microsaccade directions in the three postcue time windows of Experiment 1: 0–200 ms, 200–400 ms, and 400–600 ms. The relative frequency of microsaccades is plotted in the histograms for left (blue line) and right (red line) cue directions. The numbers on the outside of the histogram indicate angle, and those on the inside indicate relative frequency of microsaccades. b Relative frequency of microsaccades. The vertical axis indicates the relative frequency of microsaccades, and the horizontal axis indicates cue directions. The lines indicate the relative frequencies of microsaccades to the left (blue) and the right (red). The error bars represent standard error of mean
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Fig5: Microsaccade data in Experiment 2. Unlike Experiment 1, gaze direction and cue direction were different in Experiment 2. a Polar plot histogram of microsaccades. Microsaccade directions in the three postcue time windows of Experiment 1: 0–200 ms, 200–400 ms, and 400–600 ms. The relative frequency of microsaccades is plotted in the histograms for left (blue line) and right (red line) cue directions. The numbers on the outside of the histogram indicate angle, and those on the inside indicate relative frequency of microsaccades. b Relative frequency of microsaccades. The vertical axis indicates the relative frequency of microsaccades, and the horizontal axis indicates cue directions. The lines indicate the relative frequencies of microsaccades to the left (blue) and the right (red). The error bars represent standard error of mean

Mentions: Figure 5a shows polar plot histograms of the three postcue time windows: 0–200 ms, 200–400 ms, and 400–600 ms. We conducted a 2 (left/right cue direction) × 2 (left/right microsaccade direction) repeated-measures ANOVA of the frequency of microsaccades in each time window (Fig. 5b). In the 0–200 ms time window, the main effects were not significant (cue direction F1,31 = 1.394, p = 0.276; microsaccade direction F1,31 = 0.504, p = 0.504), and the interaction was also nonsignificant (F1,31 = 0.960, p = 0.359). In the 200–400 ms time window, the main effects were not significant (cue direction F1,31 = 0.249, p = 0.633; microsaccade direction F1,31 = 0.111, p = 0.748), but the interaction between cue direction and microsaccade direction was significant (F1,31 = 12.472, p < 0.01). To assess this interaction further, we conducted a simple main-effects analysis. There were significant differences between left and right microsaccades in both the left (F1,14 = 9.923, p < 0.01: right microsaccades < left microsaccades) and right (F1,14 = 7.781, p < 0.05: left microsaccades < right microsaccades) cue directions. In the 400–600 ms time window, there were no significant main effects (cue direction F1,31 = 2.856, p = 0.134; microsaccade direction F1,31 = 1.906, p = 0.209), and the interaction was also nonsignificant (F1,31 = 0.225, p = 0.649). Taken together, these findings indicate that microsaccades were in the cue direction (opposite the gaze direction) in the 200–400 ms window, but not in the earlier (in 0–200 ms) or later (400–600 ms) windows.Fig. 5


Attentional shifts by gaze direction in voluntary orienting: evidence from a microsaccade study.

Yokoyama T, Noguchi Y, Kita S - Exp Brain Res (2012)

Microsaccade data in Experiment 2. Unlike Experiment 1, gaze direction and cue direction were different in Experiment 2. a Polar plot histogram of microsaccades. Microsaccade directions in the three postcue time windows of Experiment 1: 0–200 ms, 200–400 ms, and 400–600 ms. The relative frequency of microsaccades is plotted in the histograms for left (blue line) and right (red line) cue directions. The numbers on the outside of the histogram indicate angle, and those on the inside indicate relative frequency of microsaccades. b Relative frequency of microsaccades. The vertical axis indicates the relative frequency of microsaccades, and the horizontal axis indicates cue directions. The lines indicate the relative frequencies of microsaccades to the left (blue) and the right (red). The error bars represent standard error of mean
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Fig5: Microsaccade data in Experiment 2. Unlike Experiment 1, gaze direction and cue direction were different in Experiment 2. a Polar plot histogram of microsaccades. Microsaccade directions in the three postcue time windows of Experiment 1: 0–200 ms, 200–400 ms, and 400–600 ms. The relative frequency of microsaccades is plotted in the histograms for left (blue line) and right (red line) cue directions. The numbers on the outside of the histogram indicate angle, and those on the inside indicate relative frequency of microsaccades. b Relative frequency of microsaccades. The vertical axis indicates the relative frequency of microsaccades, and the horizontal axis indicates cue directions. The lines indicate the relative frequencies of microsaccades to the left (blue) and the right (red). The error bars represent standard error of mean
Mentions: Figure 5a shows polar plot histograms of the three postcue time windows: 0–200 ms, 200–400 ms, and 400–600 ms. We conducted a 2 (left/right cue direction) × 2 (left/right microsaccade direction) repeated-measures ANOVA of the frequency of microsaccades in each time window (Fig. 5b). In the 0–200 ms time window, the main effects were not significant (cue direction F1,31 = 1.394, p = 0.276; microsaccade direction F1,31 = 0.504, p = 0.504), and the interaction was also nonsignificant (F1,31 = 0.960, p = 0.359). In the 200–400 ms time window, the main effects were not significant (cue direction F1,31 = 0.249, p = 0.633; microsaccade direction F1,31 = 0.111, p = 0.748), but the interaction between cue direction and microsaccade direction was significant (F1,31 = 12.472, p < 0.01). To assess this interaction further, we conducted a simple main-effects analysis. There were significant differences between left and right microsaccades in both the left (F1,14 = 9.923, p < 0.01: right microsaccades < left microsaccades) and right (F1,14 = 7.781, p < 0.05: left microsaccades < right microsaccades) cue directions. In the 400–600 ms time window, there were no significant main effects (cue direction F1,31 = 2.856, p = 0.134; microsaccade direction F1,31 = 1.906, p = 0.209), and the interaction was also nonsignificant (F1,31 = 0.225, p = 0.649). Taken together, these findings indicate that microsaccades were in the cue direction (opposite the gaze direction) in the 200–400 ms window, but not in the earlier (in 0–200 ms) or later (400–600 ms) windows.Fig. 5

Bottom Line: We found that microsaccade direction followed cue direction between 200 and 400 ms after gaze cues were presented.The results in Experiment 2 were consistent with those from Experiment 1.Taken together, these results indicate that the shift in spatial attention elicited by gaze direction is voluntary orienting.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan. yokoyama@lit.kobe-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT
Shifts in spatial attention can be induced by the gaze direction of another. However, it is unclear whether gaze direction influences the allocation of attention by reflexive or voluntary orienting. The present study was designed to examine which type of attentional orienting is elicited by gaze direction. We conducted two experiments to answer this question. In Experiment 1, we used a modified Posner paradigm with gaze cues and measured microsaccades to index the allocation of attention. We found that microsaccade direction followed cue direction between 200 and 400 ms after gaze cues were presented. This is consistent with the latencies observed in other microsaccade studies in which voluntary orienting is manipulated, suggesting that gaze direction elicits voluntary orienting. However, Experiment 1 did not separate voluntary and reflexive orienting directionally, so in Experiment 2, we used an anticue task in which cue direction (direction to allocate attention) was the opposite of gaze direction (direction of gaze in depicted face). The results in Experiment 2 were consistent with those from Experiment 1. Microsaccade direction followed the cue direction, not gaze direction. Taken together, these results indicate that the shift in spatial attention elicited by gaze direction is voluntary orienting.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus