gazing

Avatar’s gaze illuminates social brain

gazingThey may seem a little unsettling but the staring eyes of this female avatar were designed to grab your gaze and hold it, and also to obligingly follow where you look. By performing these actions with people placed inside a brain scanner, she has helped to demonstrate that guiding the gazes of others activates different brain areas than following.

This could help unravel the brain activity underlying the process of “joint attention”, thought to be key to complex, human social interactions. It could also offer insights into why social interactions can break down for people with autism.

See the entire story and accompanying video on NewScientist.com [html] [video]