Original Article

Psychological Research

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 59-67

First online:

Eye direction aftereffect

  • Jun’ichiro SeyamaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo Email author 
  • , Ruth S. NagayamaAffiliated withDepartment of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Hiroshima Prefectural College of Health SciencesDepartment of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shizuoka Eiwa Gakuin University

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Three experiments using computer-generated human figures showed that after a prolonged observation of eyes looking to the left (or right), eyes looking directly toward the viewer appeared directed to the right (or left). Observation of an arrow pointing left or right did not induce this aftereffect on the perceived eye direction. Happy faces produced the aftereffect more effectively than surprised faces, even though the image features of the eyes were identical for both the happy and the surprised faces. These results suggest that the eye direction aftereffect may reflect the adaptation of relatively higher-level mechanisms analyzing the other’s eye direction.