Journal Article Self make-up: the influence of self-referential processing on attention orienting.

Zhao, Shuo  ,  Uono, Shota  ,  Yoshimura, Sayaka  ,  Toichi, Motomi

52015-09-22 , Nature Publishing Group
For humans, both eye gaze and arrows serve as powerful signals for orienting attention. Recent studies have shown important differences between gaze and arrows in attention orienting; however, the mechanisms underlying these differences are not known. One such mechanism may be self-referential processing. To investigate this possibility, we trained participants to associate two cues (a red and green arrow in Experiment 1A and two different faces in Experiment 1B) with distinct words ("self" and "other"). Then, we manipulated two types of sound (voice and tone) as targets to investigate whether the cueing effect to self- and other-referential cues differs in a manner similar to that reported for gaze and arrows. We found that self-, but not other-, referential cues induced an enhanced cueing effect to the voice target relative to the tone target regardless of the cue characteristic (i.e., biological or non-biological). Our results suggest that the difference between gaze and arrows in orienting attention can be explained, at least in part, by the self-referentiality of gaze. Furthermore, in Experiment 2, we found a reverse cueing pattern between gaze and arrow cues by manipulating subjects' experiences, suggesting that differences in the self-referentiality of gaze and arrow cues are not inherent.

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