Virtual Gaze. A Pilot Study on the Effects of Computer Simulated Gaze in Avatar-Based Conversations

  • Gary Bente
  • Felix Eschenburg
  • Nicole. C. Krämer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4563)


The paper introduces a novel methodology for the computer simulation of gaze behavior in net-based interactions. 38 female participants interacted using a special avatar platform, allowing for the real-time transmission of nonverbal behavior (head and body movement, gestures, gaze) as captured by motion trackers, eye tracking devices and data gloves. During interaction eye movement and gaze direction of one partner was substituted by computer simulated data. Simulated duration of directed gaze (looking into the face of the vis-a-vis) was varied lasting 2 seconds in one condition and 4 seconds in the other. Mutual person perception (impression ratings) and individual experience of social presence (short questionnaire) were measured as dependent variables. The results underline the validity of the computer animation approach. Consistent with the literature the longer gaze duration was found to cause significantly better evaluations of the interaction partners and higher levels of co-presence.


Computer mediated communication nonverbal behavior social gaze methodology person perception social presence 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Bente
    • 1
  • Felix Eschenburg
    • 1
  • Nicole. C. Krämer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, University of Cologne, Bernhard-Feilchenfeldstr.11, 50969 CologneGermany

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