Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Scientific Reports


Nature Publishing Group

Place of Publication

United Kingdom


School of Arts and Humanities




Originally published as: Rogers, S. L., Speelman, C. P., Guidetti, O., & Longmuir, M. (2018). Using dual eye tracking to uncover personal gaze patterns during social interaction. Scientific reports, 8(1), 4271. Original article available here.


We report the personal eye gaze patterns of people engaged in face-to-face getting acquainted conversation. Considerable differences between individuals are underscored by a stability of eye gaze patterns within individuals. Results suggest the existence of an eye-mouth gaze continuum. This continuum includes some people showing a strong preference for eye gaze, some with a strong preference for mouth gaze, and others distributing their gaze between the eyes and mouth to varying extents. Additionally, we found evidence of within-participant consistency not just for location preference but also for the duration of fixations upon the eye and mouth regions. We also estimate that during a 4-minute getting acquainted conversation mutual face gaze constitutes about 60% of conversation that occurs via typically brief instances of 2.2 seconds. Mutual eye contact ranged from 0-45% of conversation, via very brief instances. This was despite participants subjectively perceiving eye contact occurring for about 70% of conversation. We argue that the subjective perception of eye contact is a product of mutual face gaze instead of actual mutual eye contact. We also outline the fast activity of gaze movements upon various locations both on and off face during a typical face-to-face conversation.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.