Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

"Here's Looking At You" Has New Meaning: Eye Contact Shown To Affect Conversation Patterns, Group Problem-Solving Ability

Date:
November 22, 2002
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
Noting that the eyes have long been described as mirrors of the soul, a Queen's computer scientist is studying the effect of eye gaze on conversation and the implications for new-age technologies, ranging from video conferencing to speech recognition systems.

Noting that the eyes have long been described as mirrors of the soul, a Queen's computer scientist is studying the effect of eye gaze on conversation and the implications for new-age technologies, ranging from video conferencing to speech recognition systems.

Dr. Roel Vertegaal, who is presenting a paper on eye gaze at an international conference in New Orleans this week, has found evidence to suggest a strong link between the amount of eye contact people receive and their degree of participation in group communications. Eye contact is known to increase the number of turns a person will take when part of a group conversation. The goal of this study was to determine what type of "gaze" (looking at a person's eyes and face) is required to have this effect.

Two conditions were studied: synchronized (where eye contact is made while the subject is speaking) and random contact, received at any time in the conversation. The Queen's study showed that the total amount of gaze received during a group conversation is more important than when the eye contact occurs.

The findings have important implications for the design of future communication devices, including more user-friendly and sensitive video conferencing systems – a technology increasingly chosen in business for economic and time-saving reasons – and Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) which support communication between people and machines. Dr. Vertegaal's group is also implementing these findings to facilitate user interactions with large groups of computers such as personal digital assistants and cellular phones.

The eye contact experiment used computer-generated images from actors who conveyed different levels of attention (gazing at the subject, gazing at the other actor, looking away, and looking down). These images were presented to the subjects, who believed they were in an actual three-way video conferencing situation, attempting to solve language puzzles. The researchers concluded that people in group discussions will speak up more if they receive a greater amount of eye contact from other group members. There was no relationship between the impact of the eye contact and when it occurred.

"The effect of eye gaze has literally fascinated people throughout the ages," says Dr. Vertegaal, whose paper, Explaining Effects of Eye Gaze on Mediated Group Conversations: Amount or Synchronization? was presented this week at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

"Sumerian clay tablets dating back to 3000 BC already tell the story of Ereshkigal, goddess of the underworld, who had the power to kill Inanna, goddess of love, with a deadly eye," says Dr. Vertegaal. "Now that we are attempting to build more sophisticated conversational interfaces that mirror the communicative capabilities of their users, it has become clear we need to learn more about communicative functions of gaze behaviours."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University. ""Here's Looking At You" Has New Meaning: Eye Contact Shown To Affect Conversation Patterns, Group Problem-Solving Ability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021122073858.htm>.
Queen's University. (2002, November 22). "Here's Looking At You" Has New Meaning: Eye Contact Shown To Affect Conversation Patterns, Group Problem-Solving Ability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021122073858.htm
Queen's University. ""Here's Looking At You" Has New Meaning: Eye Contact Shown To Affect Conversation Patterns, Group Problem-Solving Ability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021122073858.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins