How do eye gaze and facial expression interact?



Bindemann M, Burton AM & Langton S (2008) How do eye gaze and facial expression interact?. Visual Cognition, 16 (6), pp. 708-733.

Previous research has demonstrated an interaction between eye gaze and selected facial emotional expressions, whereby the perception of anger and happiness is impaired when the eyes are horizontally averted within a face, but the perception of fear and sadness is enhanced under the same conditions. The current study reexamined these claims over six experiments. In the first three experiments, the categorization of happy and sad expressions (Experiments 1 and 2) and angry and fearful expressions (Experiment 3) was impaired when eye gaze was averted, in comparison to direct gaze conditions. Experiment 4 replicated these findings in a rating task, which combined all four expressions within the same design. Experiments 5 and 6 then showed that previous findings, that the perception of selected expressions is enhanced under averted gaze, are stimulus and task-bound. The results are discussed in relation to research on facial expression processing and visual attention.

3; Attention; Design; experiment; EXPERIMENTS; expression; Eye; eye gaze; Face; FACIAL expression; FEAR; gaze; Happiness; interaction; Perception; Research; TASK

Visual Cognition: Volume 16, Issue 6

Publication date31/12/2008
PublisherTaylor and Francis Online

People (1)


Dr Stephen Langton

Dr Stephen Langton

Senior Lecturer, Psychology