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Conferences 2007 - N. George

Perceiving eye-contact: behavioural and electrophysiological studies


Speaker: Nathalie George (Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Brain Imagery, CNRS UPR 640 - LENA)

Date: 11 January 2007

Eye-contact is a strong signal of non-verbal communication, and eye-contact between two individuals is unique for several reasons.  Visually observing the environment mainly induces processes of orientation, spacial attention, and conjoint attention, eye-contact signals reciprocal social attention, aimed directly at the observer. This type of contact is a frequent lead-in to interactions between individuals and can take on many forms depending on the context. This is why the meanings behind eye-contact must be decoded in terms of facial aspects as well as social context. By doing so, the perception of eye-contact utilize many specific processes tied to facial coding and social cognition.
We performed a series of behavioural and electrophysiological experiments on healthy adults in order to highlight the asymmetrical tendencies in interpreting direct eye-contact (aimed at the observer) and deviated eye-contact (aimed toward the environment). These studies show that eye-contact is a signal that we are particularly sensitive to, and which induces raped access of processes linked to facial coding and eye movement as well as emotions and theories of mind.

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Creation date : 08/12/2006 @ 14:11
Last update : 29/09/2007 @ 00:55
Category : Conferences 2007
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