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J Vis. 2013 Apr 22;13(5):18. doi: 10.1167/13.5.18.

Gaze categorization under uncertainty: psychophysics and modeling.

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  • 1School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Erratum in

  • J Vis. 2013;13(6):14.


The accurate perception of another person's gaze direction underlies most social interactions and provides important information about his or her future intentions. As a first step to measuring gaze perception, most experiments determine the range of gaze directions that observers judge as being direct: the cone of direct gaze. This measurement has revealed the flexibility of observers' perception of gaze and provides a useful benchmark against which to test clinical populations with abnormal gaze behavior. Here, we manipulated effective signal strength by adding noise to the eyes of synthetic face stimuli or removing face information. We sought to move beyond a descriptive account of gaze categorization by fitting a model to the data that relies on changing the uncertainty associated with an estimate of gaze direction as a function of the signal strength. This model accounts for all the data and provides useful insight into the visual processes underlying normal gaze perception.

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