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Neurophysiol Clin. 2008 Jun;38(3):197-207. doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

Facing the gaze of others.

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1
CNRS, UPR640, laboratoire de neurosciences cognitives et imagerie cérébrale-LENA, hôpital de Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47 boulevard de l'Hôpital, Paris cedex 13, France. Nathalie.George@chups.jussieu.fr

Abstract

Others' gaze constitutes a rich and essential social signal, which is decoded by taking into account other aspects of the face as well as the social context. Since the perception of averted gaze and that of direct gaze trigger distinct cognitive processes, the studies on gaze perception have focused separately on these two gaze directions. The perception of averted gaze induces orienting of spatial attention in the gazed-at direction as well as joint attention processes while direct gaze or gaze contact signals interest directed at the observer's self and is often the preliminary to interindividual interactions. Studies in cognitive neuroscience have focused first on averted gaze perception. However, recent studies have emphasised the asymmetries in the processing of direct versus averted gaze. This has led to a growing interest in the neural substrates of direct gaze perception. This issue has recently started to be actively addressed in our group using fMRI, MEG, EEG and source reconstruction methods. These studies emphasise that the perception of direct gaze elicits early processes that are related to face and eye movement encoding as well as to emotion and theory-of-mind.

PMID:
18539254
DOI:
10.1016/j.neucli.2008.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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