The Global Precedence in Gaze Direction Perception
Gaze direction can be represented in terms of not only local feature information, i.e., the location of the pupil in the eye socket, but also of the global property determined by the configural relation between the eye region and head context. The present study examined whether global property is preferentially accessed when searching for an oddly-directed gaze. Specifically, we measured the search efficiency for the oddly directed gaze under follwing conditions. In one condition, the gaze direction indicated by the global property contradicts with that indicated by the local feature information. In the other condition, the gaze directions indicated by these types of information are the same. The results demonstrated that the search efficiency was determined by the gaze direction indicated by the global property regardless of that indicated by the local feature information. Moreover, the participantsâ€™ response was significantly delayed when the global property contradicted with the local feature information.These results indicate the precedence of the global proprty in gaze direction perception, but the elucidation of the underlying perceptual mechanism awaits future research.