Gaze, speech and face-to-face interaction
Overt attention - the act of directing sense organs towards a stimulus source - is largely cued by gaze shifts. If covert attention - the act of mentally focusing on one of several possible sensory stimuli - does not always trigger gaze shifts, studies suggest that movement of the eyes in the direction of mental focus may have to be actively suppressed. Gaze thus informs us continuously about the \"top of mind\" of others, notably whom they speak to, what they speak of, as well as their cognitive and emotional state when they speak or listen.
We will briefly describe the experiments we performed to characterize gaze patterns during face-to-face interaction with the objective of giving gaze skills to conversational agents.