ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (2): 211-219.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00211

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The Role of Head Orientation in Social Attention Shift

LU Shang;LIU Ye;FU Xiaolan   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • Received:2012-04-06 Online:2013-02-15 Published:2013-02-15
  • Contact: LIU Ye

Abstract: Eye gaze is a very important social attention cue. However, in everyday life, eye gaze is accompanied by head orientation, which contains spatial orientation information, too. Previous studies found that head orientation affects the speed and accuracy of perception of gaze direction. Head orientation affords a frame of reference to eye gaze direction, and affects social attention triggered by eye gaze direction. The neural systems related to head orientation and eye gaze direction are broadly overlapped. As a result, head orientation might be an important factor to construct and develop the social attention system based on Theory of Mind, besides eye gaze. Future research should focus on the mechanisms of the interaction between head orientation and eye gaze direction on social attention shift, and should explore the neural mechanisms of social attention shift from functional integration approach.

Key words: head orientation, gaze direction, social attention, Theory of Mind