Observers tend to respond more quickly to peripheral stimuli that are being gazed at by a centrally presented face, than to stimuli that are not being gazed at. While this gaze-cueing effect was initially seen as reflexive, there have also been some indications that top-down control processes may be involved. Therefore, the present investigation employed a dual-task paradigm to attempt to disrupt the putative control processes involved in gaze cueing. Two experiments examined the impact of working memory load on gaze cueing. In Experiment 1, participants were required to hold a set of digits in working memory during each gaze trial. In Experiment 2, the gaze task was combined with an auditory task that required the manipulation and maintenance of visuospatial information. Gaze cueing effects were observed, but they were not modulated by dual-task load in either experiment. These results are consistent with traditional accounts of gaze cueing as a highly reflexive process.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Aug 2010|