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Monsters are people too

Levy, J and Foulsham, Tom and Kingstone, Alan (2013) 'Monsters are people too.' Biology Letters, 9 (1). p. 20120850. ISSN 1744-9561

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Abstract

Animals, including dogs, dolphins, monkeys and man, follow gaze. What mediates this bias towards the eyes? One hypothesis is that primates possess a distinct neural module that is uniquely tuned for the eyes of others. An alternative explanation is that configural face processing drives fixations to the middle of peoples' faces, which is where the eyes happen to be located. We distinguish between these two accounts. Observers were presented with images of people, non-human creatures with eyes in the middle of their faces (`humanoids?) or creatures with eyes positioned elsewhere (`monsters?). There was a profound and significant bias towards looking early and often at the eyes of humans and humanoids and also, critically, at the eyes of monsters. These findings demonstrate that the eyes, and not the middle of the head, are being targeted by the oculomotor system.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gaze following; gaze selection; social attention; primates
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 10:46
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 14:07
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/9355

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