Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Human eyes are a powerful social cue that may automatically attract the attention of an observer. Here we tested whether looking toward open human eyes, as often arises in standard clinical "confrontation" tests, may affect contralesional errors in a group of right brain-damaged patients showing visual extinction. Patients were requested to discriminate peripheral shape-targets presented on the left, right, or bilaterally. On each trial they also saw a central task-irrelevant stimulus, comprising an image of the eye sector of a human face, with those seen eyes open or closed. The conditions with central eye stimuli open (vs closed) induced more errors for contralesional peripheral targets, particularly for bilateral trials. These results suggest that seeing open eyes in central vision may attract attentional resources there, reducing attention to the periphery, particularly for the affected contralesional side. The seen gaze of the examiner may thus need to be considered during confrontation testing and may contribute to the effectiveness of that clinical procedure.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1619 - 1621


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Attention, Cerebral Infarction, Disability Evaluation, Eye, Face, Fixation, Ocular, Functional Laterality, Humans, Middle Aged, Neurologic Examination, Neuropsychological Tests, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Perceptual Disorders, Photic Stimulation, Predictive Value of Tests