Observing eye gaze and body movements provides a relevant source of information for social interaction. This study investigated whether observing other’s gaze – pointing toward an object – affects motor responses in onlookers. By using single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) on primary motor cortex (M1), we assessed corticospinal excitability while participants observed actions sequences eliciting or not interactive responses. Results showed an inhibitory pattern in observers’ muscles when the actor’s gaze was pointing to a salient object for the interaction. However, this pattern was in striking contrast with the ‘willingness to interact’, as reported by participants in a following questionnaire. Overall, these data seem to indicate that the joint contribution of gaze and request gesture increases participants’ proactivity (as indicated by the self-reports), so that muscular inhibition is necessary in order to prevent overt reaction.

The role of gaze in social requests

BETTI, SONIA;CASTIELLO, UMBERTO;GUERRA, SILVIA;GRANZIOL, UMBERTO;SARTORI, LUISA
2017

Abstract

Observing eye gaze and body movements provides a relevant source of information for social interaction. This study investigated whether observing other’s gaze – pointing toward an object – affects motor responses in onlookers. By using single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) on primary motor cortex (M1), we assessed corticospinal excitability while participants observed actions sequences eliciting or not interactive responses. Results showed an inhibitory pattern in observers’ muscles when the actor’s gaze was pointing to a salient object for the interaction. However, this pattern was in striking contrast with the ‘willingness to interact’, as reported by participants in a following questionnaire. Overall, these data seem to indicate that the joint contribution of gaze and request gesture increases participants’ proactivity (as indicated by the self-reports), so that muscular inhibition is necessary in order to prevent overt reaction.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3231871
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