Knowing where people look when viewing faces provides an objective measure into the part of information entering the visual system as well as into the cognitive strategy involved in facial perception. In the present study, we recorded the eye movements of 20 congenitally deaf (10 male and 10 female) and 23 (11 male and 12 female) normal-hearing Japanese participants while they evaluated the emotional valence of static face stimuli. While no difference was found in the evaluation scores, the eye movements during facial observations differed among participant groups. The deaf group looked at the eyes more frequently and for longer duration than the nose whereas the hearing group focused on the nose (or the central region of face) more than the eyes. These results suggest that the strategy employed to extract visual information when viewing static faces may differ between deaf and hearing people.
ASJC Scopus subject areas