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Front Integr Neurosci. 2010 Mar 19;4:5. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2010.00005. eCollection 2010.

Following gaze: gaze-following behavior as a window into social cognition.

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Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University Princeton, NJ, USA.


In general, individuals look where they attend and next intend to act. Many animals, including our own species, use observed gaze as a deictic ("pointing") cue to guide behavior. Among humans, these responses are reflexive and pervasive: they arise within a fraction of a second, act independently of task relevance, and appear to undergird our initial development of language and theory of mind. Human and nonhuman animals appear to share basic gaze-following behaviors, suggesting the foundations of human social cognition may also be present in nonhuman brains.


attention; joint attention; orienting; shared attention; social attention; theory of mind

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