- Eye contact facilitates awareness of faces during interocular suppression
- Volume | Issue number
- 119 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Eye contact captures attention and receives prioritized visual processing. Here we asked whether eye contact might be processed outside conscious awareness. Faces with direct and averted gaze were rendered invisible using interocular suppression. In two experiments we found that faces with direct gaze overcame such suppression more rapidly than faces with averted gaze. Control experiments ruled out the influence of low-level stimulus differences and differential response criteria. These results indicate an enhanced unconscious representation of direct gaze, enabling the automatic and rapid detection of other individuals making eye contact with the observer.
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- Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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