Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Seeing direct and averted gaze activates the approach-avoidance motivational brain systems.
Neuropsychologia. 2008; 46(9):2423-30.N

Abstract

Gaze direction is known to be an important factor in regulating social interaction. Recent evidence suggests that direct and averted gaze can signal the sender's motivational tendencies of approach and avoidance, respectively. We aimed at determining whether seeing another person's direct vs. averted gaze has an influence on the observer's neural approach-avoidance responses. We also examined whether it would make a difference if the participants were looking at the face of a real person or a picture. Measurements of hemispheric asymmetry in the frontal electroencephalographic activity indicated that another person's direct gaze elicited a relative left-sided frontal EEG activation (indicative of a tendency to approach), whereas averted gaze activated right-sided asymmetry (indicative of avoidance). Skin conductance responses were larger to faces than to control objects and to direct relative to averted gaze, indicating that faces, in general, and faces with direct gaze, in particular, elicited more intense autonomic activation and strength of the motivational tendencies than did control stimuli. Gaze direction also influenced subjective ratings of emotional arousal and valence. However, all these effects were observed only when participants were facing a real person, not when looking at a picture of a face. This finding was suggested to be due to the motivational responses to gaze direction being activated in the context of enhanced self-awareness by the presence of another person. The present results, thus, provide direct evidence that eye contact and gaze aversion between two persons influence the neural mechanisms regulating basic motivational-emotional responses and differentially activate the motivational approach-avoidance brain systems.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Human Information Processing Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Tampere, FIN-33014, Finland. jari.hietanen@uta.fiNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18402988

Citation

Hietanen, Jari K., et al. "Seeing Direct and Averted Gaze Activates the Approach-avoidance Motivational Brain Systems." Neuropsychologia, vol. 46, no. 9, 2008, pp. 2423-30.
Hietanen JK, Leppänen JM, Peltola MJ, et al. Seeing direct and averted gaze activates the approach-avoidance motivational brain systems. Neuropsychologia. 2008;46(9):2423-30.
Hietanen, J. K., Leppänen, J. M., Peltola, M. J., Linna-Aho, K., & Ruuhiala, H. J. (2008). Seeing direct and averted gaze activates the approach-avoidance motivational brain systems. Neuropsychologia, 46(9), 2423-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.02.029
Hietanen JK, et al. Seeing Direct and Averted Gaze Activates the Approach-avoidance Motivational Brain Systems. Neuropsychologia. 2008;46(9):2423-30. PubMed PMID: 18402988.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Seeing direct and averted gaze activates the approach-avoidance motivational brain systems. AU - Hietanen,Jari K, AU - Leppänen,Jukka M, AU - Peltola,Mikko J, AU - Linna-Aho,Kati, AU - Ruuhiala,Heidi J, Y1 - 2008/03/08/ PY - 2007/10/03/received PY - 2008/02/28/revised PY - 2008/02/29/accepted PY - 2008/4/12/pubmed PY - 2008/9/13/medline PY - 2008/4/12/entrez SP - 2423 EP - 30 JF - Neuropsychologia JO - Neuropsychologia VL - 46 IS - 9 N2 - Gaze direction is known to be an important factor in regulating social interaction. Recent evidence suggests that direct and averted gaze can signal the sender's motivational tendencies of approach and avoidance, respectively. We aimed at determining whether seeing another person's direct vs. averted gaze has an influence on the observer's neural approach-avoidance responses. We also examined whether it would make a difference if the participants were looking at the face of a real person or a picture. Measurements of hemispheric asymmetry in the frontal electroencephalographic activity indicated that another person's direct gaze elicited a relative left-sided frontal EEG activation (indicative of a tendency to approach), whereas averted gaze activated right-sided asymmetry (indicative of avoidance). Skin conductance responses were larger to faces than to control objects and to direct relative to averted gaze, indicating that faces, in general, and faces with direct gaze, in particular, elicited more intense autonomic activation and strength of the motivational tendencies than did control stimuli. Gaze direction also influenced subjective ratings of emotional arousal and valence. However, all these effects were observed only when participants were facing a real person, not when looking at a picture of a face. This finding was suggested to be due to the motivational responses to gaze direction being activated in the context of enhanced self-awareness by the presence of another person. The present results, thus, provide direct evidence that eye contact and gaze aversion between two persons influence the neural mechanisms regulating basic motivational-emotional responses and differentially activate the motivational approach-avoidance brain systems. SN - 0028-3932 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18402988/Seeing_direct_and_averted_gaze_activates_the_approach_avoidance_motivational_brain_systems_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -