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Effects of Verbal and Spatial Questions on Initial Gaze Shifts NIH

Baker, A. Harvey; Ehrlichman, Howard; Weiner, Susan L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Cerebral Dominance, Cognitive Processes, Eye Movements, Motor Reactions, Questioning Techniques


The direction of subjects' first gaze shift following questions designed to elicit verbal-linguistic or visuospatial processing was examined in three experiments under video camera and face-to-face interview conditions. In all three experiments, verbal questions elicited significantly more downward gaze shifts than spatial questions. However, previous findings that verbal questions elicited more rightward gaze shifts than spatial questions were not replicated. These results appear to be incompatible with theories linking direction of gaze shifts with the functional asymmetry of the cerebral hemispheres. It was also observed that trials on which no gaze shifts were elicited occurred more often for spatial than for verbal questions. (Author) (44pp.)

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