Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

2013 Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Mutual Gaze

  • Sally J. Rogers
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_628

Synonyms

Definition

What Is It?

Mutual gaze occurs when two people make eye contact or look into each other’s eyes. Mutual gaze is an important part of social communication and perception of others’ emotion states and is the one of the foundational skills necessary in the development of joint attention (George & Conty, 2008; Morales, Mundy, Crowson, Neal, & Delgado, 2005; Saito et al., 2010; Senju & Johnson, 2009). Mutual gaze has been described as “the most powerful mode of establishing a communicative link between humans” (Farroni, Csibra, Simion, & Johnson, 2002).

When Does It Occur?

From birth, infants are innately motivated to gaze into their caregivers’ eyes. In fact, the field of vision of newborns is approximately the distance required to make eye contact when held by an adult (Stern, Hofer, Haft, & Dore, 1985). Infants prefer to look at faces over other stimuli, especially faces...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUC Davis M.I.N.D. InstituteSacramentoUSA