ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (7): 748-760.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00748

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


闫驰1, 高云飞1, 胡赛赛1, 宋方兴2,3, 王勇慧1(), 赵晶晶1()   

  1. 1陕西师范大学心理学院; 陕西省行为与认知神经科学重点实验室; 陕西省儿童青少年心理与行为健康重点研究中心, 西安 710062
    2中国科学院心理研究所行为科学重点实验室, 北京 100101
    3中国科学院大学心理学系, 北京 100049
  • 收稿日期:2021-10-03 出版日期:2022-07-25 发布日期:2022-05-16
  • 通讯作者: 王勇慧,赵晶晶;
  • 基金资助:

The impact and mechanism of gaze cues on object-based attention

YAN Chi1, GAO Yunfei1, HU Saisai1, SONG Fangxing2,3, WANG Yonghui1(), ZHAO Jingjing1()   

  1. 1School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University;Shaanxi Key Laboratory and Cognitive Neuroscience; Shaanxi Provincial Key Research Center of Child Mental and Behavioral Health, Xi’an 710062, China
    2CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-10-03 Online:2022-07-25 Published:2022-05-16
  • Contact: WANG Yonghui,ZHAO Jingjing;


目光注视在人类社交以及捕获和维持注意方面发挥重要作用。但是, 目光注视如何与客体交互以引导注意分配至今尚不明确。因此, 本研究采用双框线索范式, 以具有两种注视方向(直视或回避)的面孔或实物作为客体, 通过操纵线索到目标间的SOA来考察目光注视对客体注意的影响及作用机制。实验1发现, 目光注视对客体效应的影响只出现在300 ms SOA时; 进一步分析发现, 客体效应的差异来自于直视条件下被试对无效相同客体位置上的目标比回避条件下反应更快。这表明与回避目光相比, 直视更能捕获我们的注意, 从而产生更大的客体效应。实验2将面孔对比度反转, 排除了低水平物理特征对实验1结果的影响。实验3使用两种注视方向的眼睛叠加杯子作为客体, 以探究目光注视效应是否能扩展到其他客体中, 结果与实验1相同。本研究结果表明, 目光注视能够与客体交互共同引导注意分配, 直视更能捕获注意, 但受SOA的影响, 上述结果支持了感觉增强理论。

关键词: 客体注意, 目光注视, 社会交互, 感觉增强理论, 自上而下加工


Eye contact plays an important role in social interaction and can capture and hold attention. Previous studies have shown that eye contact can guide attentional allocation. However, a face with direct or averted gaze is a special object containing social information. The object’s guidance for attentional allocation is called object-based attention, in which items in the cued object are processed more preferentially than items in the un-cued object. It is still unclear how eye contact interacts with objects in guiding attentional allocation. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of eye contact and the cognitive mechanism of object-based attention.

We conducted three experiments using the two-rectangle paradigm and objects with different gaze directions. In Experiment 1, faces were used as stimulus and to investigate whether and how eye contact interacted with face to guide attentional allocation. At the beginning of each trial, the fixation cross and two objects originally were displayed for 1000 ms on a screen. Then, a cue appeared randomly at any of the four ends of the two objects for 100 ms. After 0, 200, or 500 ms of inter-stimulus, the target appeared until the participant pressed the “M” key or remained on screen for 1500 ms. A black screen was then presented for 500 ms after each trial. During the experiment, the participants were asked to locate targets by pressing “M” as quickly as possible. We ruled out the influence of low-level features by using contrast reversed faces in Experiment 2. In Experiment 3, cups overlaid with eyes were used to explore whether the effect of eye contact still existed on real objects.

The results of Experiment 1 revealed that there was a significant interaction between gaze directions, cue position, and stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). Specifically, a larger object-based effect was discovered when the cue appeared on the direct-gaze face compared to the averted-gaze face under 300 ms SOA condition; however, there was no significant difference between them under 100 and 600 ms SOA conditions. Further analysis showed that the differences in object-based effect occurred because the participants reacted more quickly to the target in direct gaze than in averted gaze under the invalid same-object condition, which indicated that direct gaze could capture attention and cause a larger object-based effect. The difference in object-based effect between direct and averted gaze at 300 ms SOA disappeared in Experiment 2. The results of Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 1 and further demonstrated that the influence of eye contact on object-based attention could extend to real objects.

In conclusion, the present study extends the extant literature in several dimensions. First, it provides the first evidence, to the best of our knowledge, that eye contact interacts with objects, including faces and cups, in guiding attentional allocation. The top-down processing of eye contact facilitates the processing of objects under an invalid same-object location, which leads to greater object-based attention and supports the sensory enhancement theory. Second, it also reveals that the influence of eye contact on object-based attention is regulated by SOA.

Key words: object-based attention, eye contact, social interaction, sensory enhancement theory, top-down processing


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