Attention neglects a stare-in-the-crowd: Unanticipated consequences of prediction-error coding.
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Ramamoorthy, N., Parker, M., Plaisted, K., Muhl-Richardson, A., & Davis, G. (2020). Attention neglects a stare-in-the-crowd: Unanticipated consequences of prediction-error coding.. Cognition, 104519. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104519
Direct gaze – someone looking at you – is an important and subjectively-salient stimulus. Its processing is thought to be enhanced by the brain’s internalised predictions – priors – that effectively specify it as the most likely gaze direction. Current consensus holds that, befitting its presumed importance, direct gaze attracts attention more powerfully than other gazes. Conversely, some Predictive Coding (PC) models, in which exogenous attention is drawn to stimuli that violate predictions, may be construed as making the opposite claim — i.e, exogenous attention should be biased away from direct gaze (which conforms to internal predictions), toward averted gaze (which does not). Here, searching displays with salient, ‘odd-one-out’ gazes, we observed attentional bias (in rapid, initial saccades) toward averted gaze, as would be expected by PC models. However, this pattern obtained only when conditions highlighted gaze-uniqueness. We speculate that, in our experiments, task requirements determined how prediction influenced perception.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104519
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/312819
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Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/