Language of the Eyes 

The innate capacity to process gaze direction is thought to play a pivotal role in the development of an important form of social cognition, what Baron-Cohen (1995) refers to as “Theory of Mind” (i.e., the ability to infer behavioral intentions, desires, feelings etc., from the nonverbal behavior of others). Fundamentally, both gaze and emotional expression are capable of signaling our behavioral intentions to others. Our lab has been focused on studying the shared signal value of these expressive cues as behavioral forecasts of their inner most thoughts and probable behaviors.

Related Publications

(underline indicates student collaborator)

*PDFs of articles are posted below (PDF) for individual, noncommercial use to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly work. They are intended for teaching and training purposes only. Articles may not be reposted or disseminated without permission by the copyright holder. Copyright holders retain all rights as indicated within each article.

Stevenson, M.T., Soto, J.A., & Adams, R.B., Jr. (in press). More than meets the eye: The role self-identity in reasoning about the emotional states of others. Emotion. (PDF) 

Da Costa, S., van der Zwaag, W., Adams, R.B., Jr., & Hadjikhani, N. (in press). Effect of gaze and stimulus duration on amygdala activation to fearful faces – a 7T study. Brain Topography. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Franklin, R. G., Jr., Kveraga, K., Ambady, N., Kleck, R.E., Whalen, P.J., Hadjikhani, N. & Nelson, A.J.(2012). Amygdala responses to averted versus direct gaze fear vary as a function of presentation speed. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 568- 577. (PDF)

Slepian, M.L., Weisbuch, M., Adams, R.B., Jr., & Ambady, N. (2011). Gender moderates the relationship between emotion and perceived gaze. Emotion, 6, 1439-1444. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Franklin, R.G., Jr., Nelson, A.J., Gordon, H.L., Kleck, R.E., Whalen, P.J., & Ambady, N. (2011). Differentially tuned responses to severely restricted versus prolonged awareness of threat: A preliminary fMRI investigation. Brain and Cognition, 77, 113-119. (PDF)

Scott, L. N., Levy, K. N., Adams, R. B., Jr. & Stevenson, M. (2011). Mental state decoding abilities in young adults with borderline personality disorder traits. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 2, 98-112. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Pauker, K., & Weisbuch, M. (2010). Looking the other way: The role of gaze direction in the cross-race memory effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 478-481(PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Franklin, R.G., Rule, N.O., Freeman, J.B., Yoshikawa, S., Kveraga, K., Hadjikhani, N., & Ambady, N. (2010).Culture, gaze, and the neural processing of fear expressions: An fMRI investigation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 340-348. (PDF)

Rule, N.O., Freeman, J.B., Moran, J.M., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Adams, R.B., Jr., & Ambady, N. (2010). Voting behavior is reflected in amygdala response across cultures. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 349-355(PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Rule, N, Franklin, R.G., Jr., Wang, E., Stevenson, M.T., Yoshikawa, S., Nomura, M., Sato, W., Kveraga, K., & Ambady, N. (2010). Cross-cultural reading the mind in the eyes: An fMRI investigation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 97-108. (PDF)

Adams R.B., Jr., & Franklin, R.G., Jr. (2009). Influence of emotional expression on the processing of gaze direction. Motivation & Emotion, 33, 106-112. (PDF)

Chiao, J. Y., Adams, R. B., Jr., Tse, P., Lowenthal, & W., Richeson, J. A., & Ambady, N. (2008).    
Distinct neural systems underlying the perception of social dominance from facial cues. Group   
Processes and Intergroup Relations, 11
, 201-214. (Special Issue on Social Neuroscience). (PDF)

Hess, U., Adams, R.B., Jr., & Kleck, R.E. (2007). Looking at you or looking elsewhere: The influence of head orientation on the signal value of emotional facial expressions. Motivation & Emotion, 31, 137-144(PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Ambady, N., Macrae, C. N., & Kleck, R. E. (2006). Emotional expressions forecast  
approach-avoidance behavior. Motivation & Emotion30, 179-188. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., & Kleck, R.E. (2005). The effects of direct and averted gaze on the perception of facially communicated emotion. Emotion, 5, 3-11. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., & Kleck, R.E. (2003). Perceived gaze direction and the processing of facial displays of emotion. Psychological Science, 14, 644-647. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr. & Janata, P. (2002). An fMRI comparison of neural circuits underlying auditory and visual object categorization.NeuroImage, 16, 361-377. (PDF)

Adams, R.B., Jr., Gordon, H.L., Baird, A.A., Ambady, N., & Kleck, R.E.  (2003). Effects of gaze     
on  amygdala sensitivity to anger and fear faces. Science, 300,
 1536. (PDF)