27 Jun 2019-bioRxiv (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)-pp 682971
TL;DR: Common marmosets follow the head gaze of conspecifics in order to establish joint attention and this support the assumption of an evolutionary old domain specific faculty shared within the primate order and underline the potential value of marmoset in studies of normal and disturbed joint attention.
Abstract: The ability to extract the direction of the others gaze allows us to shift our attention to an object of interest to the other and to establish joint attention. By mapping ones own expectations, desires and intentions on the object of joint attention, humans develop a Theory of (the others) Mind (TOM), a functional sequence possibly disrupted in autism. Although old world monkeys probably do not possess a TOM, they follow the others gaze and they establish joint attention. Gaze following of both humans and old world monkeys fulfills Fodors criteria of a domain specific function and is orchestrated by very similar cortical architectures, strongly suggesting homology. Also new world monkeys, a primate suborder that split from the old world monkey line about 35 million years ago, have complex social structures. One member of this group, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), has received increasing interest as a potential model in studies of normal and disturbed human social cognition. Marmosets are known to follow human head-gaze. However, the question is if they use gaze following to establish joint attention with conspecifics. Here we show that this is indeed the case. In a free choice task, head-restrained marmosets prefer objects gazed at by a conspecific and, moreover, they exhibit considerably shorter choice reaction times for the same objects. These findings support the assumption of an evolutionary old domain specific faculty shared within the primate order and they underline the potential value of marmosets in studies of normal and disturbed joint attention.nnHIGHLIGHTSO_LICommon marmosets follow the head gaze of conspecifics in order to establish joint attention.nC_LIO_LIBrief exposures to head gaze are sufficient to reallocate an animals attention.nC_LIO_LIThe tendency to follow the others gaze competes with the attractional binding of the conspecifics facenC_LI
Abstract: At what point in development does the capacity to reason about what people think emerge? While developmental psychologists have been investigating this question for more than thirty years, the evidence they have gained so far is conflicting. On the one hand, the results of traditional, direct false-beliefs tests, which involve asking participants how a person with a false belief will act, suggest that most children under four years of age are still unaware that beliefs can be false. On the other hand, false-belief tests using indirect measures, such as, for example, looking times or anticipatory looking, suggest that even infants ascribe false beliefs to other people. As many have noted, these results pose a deep developmental puzzle.
In this work, I defend the claim that infants can already reason about beliefs. On the one hand, I argue that alternative interpretations of indirect false-belief tests fall short of the mark. On the other, I argue that the fact that young children fail direct false-belief tests can be explained in either of two ways, both of which are compatible with the claim that the capacity to reason about beliefs emerges early on. The first option is to maintain that young children fail because of performance difficulties. This type of position has been defended by other authors, but I argue that the particular proposal I put forward (which I call the processing-time account) offers a better account of the evidence. In contrast, the second option (which I call they hybrid approach) is one that, to the best of my knowledge, no one else has defended so far. This consists in arguing that direct and indirect false-belief tests recruit distinct cognitive systems, each of which can independently sustain the ability to reason about beliefs, but which follow different developmental trajectories.
After exploring these two options, I consider which is best supported by the evidence.
Cites background from "Reflexive gaze following in common ..."
...• Rachel Razza and Clancy Blair (2009) conducted a longitudinal study of the relationship between mentalising and social competence....
...possible, I will be focusing here on their most recent proposal, advanced by Peipei Setoh, Rose Scott and Renée Baillargeon (2016) and known as the Expanded Processing-Demands (EPD for short) account....
...The evidence that Westra (2016b) and Carruthers (2016) discuss falls short of establishing their claim – i....
Abstract: Abstract We use a new model of metarepresentational development to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism. One of the manifestations of a basic metarepresentational capacity is a ‘theory of mind’. We have reason to believe that autistic children lack such a ‘theory’. If this were so, then they would be unable to impute beliefs to others and to predict their behaviour. This hypothesis was tested using Wimmer and Perner's puppet play paradigm. Normal children and those with Down's syndrome were used as controls for a group of autistic children. Even though the mental age of the autistic children was higher than that of the controls, they alone failed to impute beliefs to others. Thus the dysfunction we have postulated and demonstrated is independent of mental retardation and specific to autism.
TL;DR: A new model of metarepresentational development is used to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism.
Abstract: We use a new model of metarepresentational development to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism. One of the manifestations of a basic metarepresentational capacity is a ‘theory of mind’. We have reason to believe that autistic children lack such a ‘theory’. If this were so, then they would be unable to impute beliefs to others and to predict their behaviour. This hypothesis was tested using Wimmer and Perner's puppet play paradigm. Normal children and those with Down's syndrome were used as controls for a group of autistic children. Even though the mental age of the autistic children was higher than that of the controls, they alone failed to impute beliefs to others. Thus the dysfunction we have postulated and demonstrated is independent of mental retardation and specific to autism.
TL;DR: Effects of advance cues indicating the probable locations of targets that they had to discriminate and localize support a model for spatial attention with distinct but interacting reflexive and voluntary orienting mechanisms.
Abstract: To study the mechanisms underlying covert orienting of attention in visual space, subjects were given advance cues indicating the probable locations of targets that they had to discriminate and localize. Direct peripheral cues (brightening of one of four boxes in peripheral vision) and symbolic central cues (an arrow at the fixation point indicating a probable peripheral box) were compared. Peripheral and central cues are believed to activate different reflexive and voluntary modes of orienting (Jonides, 1981; Posner, 1980). Experiment 1 showed that the time courses of facilitation and inhibition from peripheral and central cues were characteristic and different. Experiment 2 showed that voluntary orienting in response to symbolic central cues is interrupted by reflexive orienting to random peripheral flashes. Experiment 3 showed that irrelevant peripheral flashes also compete with relevant peripheral cues. The amount of interference varied systematically with the interval between the onset of the relevant cue and of the distracting flash (cue-flash onset asynchrony) and with the cuing condition. Taken together, these effects support a model for spatial attention with distinct but interacting reflexive and voluntary orienting mechanisms.
Abstract: Normal subjects were presented with a simple line drawing of a face looking left, right, or straight ahead. A target letter F or T then appeared to the left or the right of the face. All subjects participated in target detection, localization, and identification response conditions. Although subjects were told that the line drawing’s gaze direction (the cue) did not predict where the target would occur, response time in all three conditions was reliably faster when gaze was toward versus away from the target. This study provides evidence for covert, reflexive orienting to peripheral locations in response to uninformative gaze shifts presented at fixation. The implications for theories of social attention and visual orienting are discussed, and the brain mechanisms that may underlie this phenomenon are considered.
Abstract: This paper seeks to bring together two previously separate research traditions: research on spatial orienting within the visual cueing paradigm and research into social cognition, addressing our tendency to attend in the direction that another person looks. Cueing methodologies from mainstream attention research were adapted to test the automaticity of orienting in the direction of seen gaze. Three studies manipulated the direction of gaze in a computerized face, which appeared centrally in a frontal view during a peripheral letter-discrimination task. Experiments 1 and 2 found faster discrimination of peripheral target letters on the side the computerized face gazed towards, even though the seen gaze did not predict target side, and despite participants being asked to ignore the face. This suggests reflexive covert and/or overt orienting in the direction of seen gaze, arising even when the observer has no motivation to orient in this way. Experiment 3 found faster letter discrimination on the side the computerized face gazed towards even when participants knew that target letters were four times as likely on the opposite side. This suggests that orienting can arise in the direction of seen gaze even when counter to intentions. The experiments illustrate that methods from mainstream attention research can be usefully applied to social cognition, and that studies of spatial attention may profit from considering its social function.