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Eye-tracking reveals the cost of switching between self and other perspectives in a visual perspective-taking task

Ferguson, Heather J., Apperly, Ian, Cane, James E. (2017) Eye-tracking reveals the cost of switching between self and other perspectives in a visual perspective-taking task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70 . pp. 1647-1660. ISSN 1747-0218. (doi:10.1080/17470218.2016.1199716) (KAR id:55715)

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Previous studies have shown that while people can rapidly and accurately compute their own and other people’s visual perspectives, they experience difficulty ignoring the irrelevant perspective when the two perspectives differ. We used the ‘avatar’ perspective-taking task to examine the mechanisms that underlie these egocentric (i.e. interference from their own perspective) and altercentric (i.e. interference from the other person’s perspective) tendencies. Participants were eye-tracked as they verified the number of discs in a visual scene according to either their own or an on-screen avatar’s perspective. Crucially in some trials the two perspectives were inconsistent (i.e. each saw a different number of discs), while in others they were consistent. To examine the effect of perspective switching, performance was compared for trials that were preceded with the same versus different perspective cue. We found that altercentric interference can be reduced or eliminated when participants stick with their own perspective across consecutive trials. Our eye- tracking analyses revealed distinct fixation patterns for self and other perspective-taking, suggesting that consistency effects in this paradigm are driven by implicit mentalising of what others can see, and not automatic directional cues from the avatar.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1199716
Uncontrolled keywords: Theory of Mind, visual perspective taking, perspective switching, self/other, eye- tracking
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Heather Ferguson
Date Deposited: 27 May 2016 21:39 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ferguson, Heather J.:
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