Effective processing of masked eye gazes requires volitional control

Shadh Al-Janabi, Matthew Finkbeiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the validity effect produced by gaze cues should be ascribed solely to reflexive, bottom-up mechanisms or to volitional, top-down mechanisms. We find, in a central cueing paradigm, that masked eye gaze cues can indeed produce a validity effect; however, the efficacy of these masked gaze cues is sharply constrained by experimental context. Specifically, masked gaze cues only produced a validity effect when they appeared in the context of unmasked (clearly visible) and predictive gaze cues. In contrast, unmasked gaze cues produced reliable validity effects independent of experimental context, including Experiment 4 wherein 80% of the cues were invalid (i.e. counter-predictive). Collectively, these results suggest that the effective processing of masked gaze cues requires volitional control, whereas the processing of unmasked gaze cues benefits from both reflexive and top-down mechanisms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223
    Number of pages1
    JournalClinical EEG and neuroscience
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventAustralasian Cognitive Neurosciences Conference (21st : 2011) - Sydney
    Duration: 9 Dec 201112 Dec 2011


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