A long-standing controversy in social attention debates whether gaze-of-another induces reflexive shifts of one's own attention. In attempting to resolve this controversy, we utilized a novel Stroop task, the PAT Stroop, in which pro- and anti-saccade (PAT) responses are made to competing gaze and peripheral stimuli. The first experiment demonstrated a “Stroop effect” for peripheral stimuli, i.e. peripheral distractors interfered with gaze triggers, but gaze distractors did not interfere with peripheral triggers. These results were replicated in the second experiment, which also negated the possibility that the mere display and practice of the “clean PAT” influenced the results. Thus, the use a new PAT Stroop task demonstrated reflexive supremacy of peripheral stimuli over gaze stimuli. This novel variant of the Stroop task demonstrated similar characteristics to the classic color naming Stroop - i.e. an asymmetrical pattern, and again showed the utility and versatility of stoop-like tasks in probing mental tasks.
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- Directed attention
- Gaze cueing
- Social attention