Visual perception of social directional cues that facilitate joint attention

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Title: Visual perception of social directional cues that facilitate joint attention
Authors: Cooney, Sarah Maeve
Advisor: Brady, Nuala
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Date: 2017
Online since: 2017-07-19T15:59:01Z
Abstract: The ability to discriminate the direction of another person’s attention is an important skill in social interaction. Accurate discernment of where someone else is attending permits joint attention, an ability that emerges early in human development and is integral to the development of language and on some accounts theory of mind. Joint attention is a collaborative attentional state that involves shared attention upon an object or location in the environment. Before any shift in the observers attention takes place, they must first perceive where the other person attending in space. The direction of another person’s eye gaze, head orientation, body orientation, and hand pointing are social directional that aid perceptual discrimination of the direction of another person’s attention. Converging evidence supports high-level visual representation of some of these cues. Despite the important role that pointing plays in the development of social cognition, visual perception of pointing has received little attention in research. The aims of this thesis were to examine visual perception of these social directional cues and the relationship between the primary cues that elicit joint attention. These aims were achieved by examining how adults discern the direction of these cues and in turn reorient their attention towards the locus of another’s attention. Chapter 1 reviews the literature on the perception of social attention. Chapter 2 investigates hierarchical integration of left and right body and head orientations. Chapter 3 examines visual representation of hand pointing direction. In Chapter 4 modulation of spatial orienting of attention by social directional cue type and gender of viewer is examined. Chapter 5 examines observers’ ability to discern the direction of pointing at an object in space. The implications for understanding social perception are considered in Chapter 6.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Psychology
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2017 the author
Keywords: Joint AttentionSocial CognitionVisual Perception
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Psychology Theses

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