14th International Conference on Augmented Cognition, AC 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19 - 24 July 2020, pp.466-478
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.Gaze has a major role in social interaction. As a deictic reference, gaze aims at attracting visual attention of a communication partner to a referred entity in the environment. Gaze direction in natural faces is a well-investigated domain of research at behavioral and neurophysiological levels. However, our knowledge about deictic role of gaze in Human Robot Interaction is limited. The present study focuses on a comparative analysis of the deictic role of gaze direction in alternative face morphologies. We report an experimental study that investigated deictic gaze in a virtual reality environment. Human participants identified object locations by utilizing deictic gaze cues provided by avatar faces, as well as natural human faces. Our findings reveal a facilitating role in the accuracy of objection detection in favor of gaze embedded in natural faces compared to gaze embedded in synthetic avatar face morphologies.