Gaze-cueing and endogenous attention operate in parallel

Gillian Slessor* (Corresponding Author), Ailbhe Finnerty, Jessika Papp, Daniel T Smith, Douglas Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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The present research assessed the nature of endogenous shifts of attention based on internally generated expectations (i.e., target location probability) and involuntary attention shifts following eye-gaze cues from line-drawings of schematic faces (Experiment 1) and photographs of real neutral faces (Experiment 2) and fearful faces (Experiment 3). The time-course of these two forms of attention was explored by manipulating the gaze-target SOA (i.e., 100 ms, 200 ms, 300 ms). In all three experiments, target location probability influenced responding at each SOA with faster responses to high probability than low probability targets. However, the time-course of involuntary attention shifts was dependent on the gaze-cueing stimulus employed. For photographs of neutral gaze, endogenous orienting of attention was most efficient at the briefest SOA with involuntary attention shifts emerging later. However, both schematic and fearful gaze-cues influenced responding across all SOAs, which is indicative of stronger gaze-cueing effects from these cues. At 200 ms there was an additive effect as responses were slowest when the target had been invalidly cued by neutral gaze and also appeared in the low probability location. Taken together these findings suggest that these forms of involuntary and endogenous attention can operate in parallel and relatively independently, but can show potentially differing levels of influence, dependent on the time course in which they take to operate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychologica
Early online date5 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • gaze-cueing
  • endogenous attention
  • target location probability


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