Look into my eyes: The effect of direct gaze on face processing in children and adults

Bruce M. Hood, C. Neil Macrae

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter presents some empirical data to support this contention that gaze modulates face processing. It reviews research that indicates that sensitivity to gaze is an early emerging capacity. The child's vision meets the criterion for being effectively blind, and yet this limited visual ability is sufficient for processing gaze in static faces. Attentional cueing by perceived gaze shifts in young infants raises an interesting question. The effects were upheld, indicating that it was gaze which determined the attentional cueing rather than the representativeness of faces with direct gaze. One potential problem for these recognition studies is the conclusion that better memory for faces with direct gaze reflects the attentional benefits of direct gaze. Both 6-year-olds and adults correctly recognized more faces with direct gaze in the first condition. Parents of blind children can experience rejection in the absence of social smiling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGaze-Following
Subtitle of host publicationIts Development and Significance
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351566025
ISBN (Print)9780415654920
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science
  • Developmental (Psychological Science)


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