Does your gaze affect my memory?

Investigating the effect of joint attention on working memory.

  • Tue 27 Oct 20

    16:00 - 17:00

  • Online

    Zoom (email for link)

  • Event speaker

    Dr Samantha Gregory

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychology, Department of

  • Contact details

    Dr Giulia Poerio

What effect does joint attention have on memory? Find out more from Dr Samantha Gregory.

Joint attention occurs when two individuals look at the same item or event and are aware of this shared attention.

Research indicates that when an experience is shared in this way it is enriched, resulting in a measurable change in how the event is processed. For example, using a Posner style cuing task, where an onscreen face gazes towards or away from a location where objects subsequently appear, it has been found that gazed at items are processed faster, liked more, and remembered better.

Dr Samantha Gregory will present research which investigates this influence of gaze on memory, both using simple photographic images of faces presented on a computer screen with simple objects for memory, and a more complex realistic version using virtual reality (VR).

In the VR paradigm, realistic human avatars are presented in context sat at a table using a VR headset. The avatars looked at or away from realistic memory items, specifically a bowl, plate, teapot and cup.

Participants were required to remember the objects’ locations as well as specific details about each object’s status, for example, the bowl could be presented full of soup, or empty. A stick, which displayed similar movement information to the human avatar, was also presented as a non-social control cue. Behavioural and EEG results will be presented.


Dr Samantha Gregory is a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Aston University.

How to attend

This seminar will be held on Zoom. To receive a Zoom link please email Dr Giulia Poerio (g.poerio@essex.ac.uk) or Dr Matteo Lisi (m.lisi@essex.ac.uk) with the date and title of the seminar you wish to attention.

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