Perception of Gaze, Head and Body Direction - Professor Colin Clifford

What is this research about?

To an observer, the direction of your gaze reveals where you are looking and hence what you are looking at. This might be an object of shared attention or it might be the observer him or herself. The direction of your gaze is thus a strong social signal to your intentions and future actions. This project aims to understand the computational processes in our brains that enable us to know where someone else is looking.

"Neither the boy’s head nor his body is oriented towards the camera and his eyes are barely visible but we still have a strong sense that he is looking at us."

Other researchers involved:

Dr Colin Palmer (Post-doctoral research associate)
Ms Tarryn Balsdon (PhD student)
Ms Alysha Nguyen (PhD student)

Publications relating to this research:

Lawson, R.P., Clifford, C.W.G., Calder, A.J. (2009) About Turn: The Visual Representation of Human Body Orientation Revealed by Adaptation,
Psychological Science, 20, 363-371.

Mareschal, I., Calder, A.J., Clifford, C.W.G. (2013) Humans have an expectation that gaze is directed towards them, Current Biology 23, 717-721.

Otsuka, Y., Mareschal, I., Clifford, C.W.G. (2016) Testing the dual-route model of perceived gaze direction: linear combination of eye and head cues,
Journal of Vision 16(8):8, 1–12.


2016 – 2018 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, Perception of gaze, head and body direction, Clifford, C.W.G. ($285,969).


To find out more about this research, please contact Professor Colin Clifford