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Does gaze direction affect accuracy?

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The gaze direction effect is the finding that observers are typically faster at detecting or identifying a target when it appears in the direction indicated by the gaze of a centrally presented face as compared to other locations. The present research investigated whether the gaze direction effect would occur in accuracy when the target was visually degraded and accuracy was emphasized. In two experiments, the targets were easy to identify correctly, and reaction time (RT) was the dependent variable. In similar experiments, the targets were made difficult to identify and accuracy was the dependent variable. Gaze direction affected RT, but not accuracy. A theoretical mechanism for the gaze direction effect that accounts for these findings is presented.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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