Seeing It Both Ways: Using a Double-Cuing Task to Investigate the Role of Spatial Cuing in Level-1 Visual Perspective-Taking

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Previous research using the dot-perspective task has produced evidence that humans may be equipped with a mechanism that spontaneously tracks others’ gaze direction and thereby acquires information about what they can see. Other findings, however, support the alternative hypothesis that a spatial-cuing mechanism underpins the effect observed in the dot-perspective task. To adjudicate between these hypotheses, we developed a double-cuing version of Posner’s (1980) spatial-cuing paradigm to be implemented in the dot-perspective task, and conducted 3 experiments in which we manipulated stimulus-onset asynchrony, as well as secondary task demands. Crucially, the 2 conflicting hypotheses generated divergent patterns of predictions across these experimental conditions. Our results support the hypothesis of an automatic perspective-taking mechanism.

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