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Andrew C. Gallup

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University

Visual Attention and the Acquisition of Information in Human Crowds

March 12, 2012
AAG008 5:00pm

Abstract

Gaze-following, or the ability to adjust visual attention to that of others (also known as joint visual attention), may be a fundamental behavior of terrestrial vertebrates. Psychologists have typically employed laboratory experiments to study gaze-following in humans, using eye-tracking software to record changes in attention shifts or saccades when presented with either faces with averted eye direction or dynamic social scenes. However, the lack of appropriate tools has limited the objective evaluation of gaze-following between individuals in natural (non-laboratory) environments. In this talk I will describe the results of four studies in which we use semi-automated analysis to track the motion and head direction of over 6,000 pedestrians in natural crowds, revealing the extent, influence, directional flow and context-dependence of socially transmitted visual attention. The applications of this research will be discussed.

Biography

Andrew is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He received a B.A. in Psychology from the University at Albany in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from Binghamton University in 2010. His research interests are in social and comparative psychology and collective animal behavior. He has conducted research on a wide range of topics, including gaze-following and information transfer, adolescent aggression and reproductive competition, handgrip and social dominance, neighborhood ecology and prosocial development, working memory performance, yawning and thermoregulation, social contagion and stress in parakeets, and sexual conflict and multilevel selection in water striders. He is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology and a coordinator for the Integrated Behavioral Research Group at Princeton University. Andrew was born and raised in upstate New York.

 

Seminar Recording:

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Podcast:

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