Reflexive orienting to other’s gaze is modulated by the accuracy of recognition of emotional facial expressions.


This study investigated the underlying mechanism of how emotional facial expressions modulate reflexive orienting to other’s gaze. We conducted gaze-cueing studies (e.g. Friesen & Kingstone, 1998), using dynamic emotional facial cues (i.e. happy, anger, fearful, and neutral expressions). A facial cue with gazing either left or right was presented. Participants were asked to indicate a position of the target that appear either at the looked-at (valid) location or the invalid location as quickly as possible. Subsequently, Participants were asked to classify each facial expression by a forced choice in the recognition task. It was revealed that fearful expressions facilitated the gaze-orienting effect compared to other expressions, only when the recognition of facial expressions was more accurate. The findings indicate that the accuracy of recognizing emotional facial expressions at the early perceptual stage influence the reflexive orienting to other’s gaze.

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