Mentalizing eye contact with a face on a video : Gaze direction does not influence autonomic arousal
Lyyra, P., Myllyneva, A., & Hietanen, J. K. (2018). Mentalizing eye contact with a face on a video : Gaze direction does not influence autonomic arousal. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 59(4), 360-367. https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12452
Published inScandinavian Journal of Psychology
© 2018 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Recent research has revealed enhanced autonomic and subjective responses to eye contact only when perceiving another live person. However, these enhanced responses to eye contact are abolished if the viewer believes that the other person is not able to look back at the viewer. We purported to investigate whether this “genuine” eye contact effect can be reproduced with pre‐recorded videos of stimulus persons. Autonomic responses, gaze behavior, and subjective self‐assessments were measured while participants viewed pre‐recorded video persons with direct or averted gaze, imagined that the video person was real, and mentalized that the person could see them or not. Pre‐recorded videos did not evoke similar physiological or subjective eye contact effect as previously observed with live persons, not even when the participants were mentalizing being seen by the person. Gaze tracking results showed, however, increased attention allocation to faces with direct gaze compared to averted gaze directions. The results suggest that elicitation of the physiological arousal in response to genuine eye contact seems to require spontaneous experience of seeing and of being seen by another individual. ...
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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