Brain activity during eye contact measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy and eye tracking

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Abstract

The present study investigated brain activity during eye contact using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Although eye contact is important for smooth and effective social communication, little is known about its neural correlates. In the present experiment, subjects observed an experimenter sitting in front of them, occasionally making eye contact. The subjects' eye movement was recorded using an eye tracker to determine the timing of eye contact. Brain activity in the temporal area, believed to be involved in gaze perception, was measured with fNIRS. The results revealed that temporal areas were more activated during non-eye-contact (averted) gaze shifts compared to periods of eye contact. This finding suggests that temporal cortex processing of eye contact differs from the processing of non-eye-contact gaze shift. We discuss how the simultaneous application of fNIRS and eye tracking can extend social cognitive neuroscience research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 ICME International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering, CME 2012 Proceedings
Pages584-587
Number of pages4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2012
Event6th International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering, CME 2012 - Kobe, Japan
Duration: 1 Jul 20124 Jul 2012

Publication series

Name2012 ICME International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering, CME 2012 Proceedings

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering, CME 2012
CountryJapan
CityKobe
Period1/07/124/07/12

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Keywords

  • Eye contact
  • Eye tracker
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Superior temporal sulcus (STS)

Cite this

Shimada, S. (2012). Brain activity during eye contact measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy and eye tracking. In 2012 ICME International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering, CME 2012 Proceedings (pp. 584-587). [6275738] (2012 ICME International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering, CME 2012 Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCME.2012.6275738