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The attracting power of the gaze of politicians is modulated by the personality and ideological attitude of their voters: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

Cazzato, V and Liuzza, MT and Caprara, GV and Macaluso, E and Aglioti, SM (2015) The attracting power of the gaze of politicians is modulated by the personality and ideological attitude of their voters: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 42 (8). pp. 2534-2545. ISSN 1460-9568

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Abstract

Observing someone rapidly moving their eyes induces reflexive shifts of overt and covert attention in the onlooker. Previous studies have shown that this process can be modulated by the onlooker's personality, as well as by the social features of the person depicted in the cued face. Here, we investigated whether an individual's preference for social dominance orientation, in-group perceived similarity (PS), and political affiliation of the cued-face modulated neural activity within specific nodes of the social attention network. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, participants were requested to perform a gaze-following task to investigate whether the directional gaze of various Italian political personages might influence the oculomotor behaviour of in-group or out-group voters. After scanning, we acquired measures of PS in personality traits with each political personage and preference for social dominance orientation. Behavioural data showed that higher gaze interference for in-group than out-group political personages was predicted by a higher preference for social hierarchy. Higher blood oxygenation level-dependent activity in incongruent vs. congruent conditions was found in areas associated with orienting to socially salient events and monitoring response conflict, namely the left frontal eye field, right supramarginal gyrus, mid-cingulate cortex and left anterior insula. Interestingly, higher ratings of PS with the in-group and less preference for social hierarchy predicted increased activity in the left frontal eye field during distracting gaze movements of in-group as compared with out-group political personages. Our results suggest that neural activity in the social orienting circuit is modulated by higher-order social dimensions, such as in-group PS and individual differences in ideological attitudes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Cazzato, V., Liuzza, M. T., Caprara, G. V., Macaluso, E., Aglioti, S. M. (2015), The attracting power of the gaze of politicians is modulated by the personality and ideological attitude of their voters: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 42: 2534–2545 which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13038. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1109 Neurosciences, 1702 Cognitive Science, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 13:37
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2016 23:50
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/ejn.13038
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3091

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