Dr. Ross MacDonald

Research interests

My research focuses on gaze cueing in natural collaboration. Much research on gaze cueing has been conducted using artificial stimuli in isolation. While studies using these methods have provided important insights into social and visual attention, they can fail to consider the effect of higher level factors, such as social context and language, on the way we orient to and follow gaze cues. My research is focused on the interaction between gaze cue utilisation, spoken language and social context. These factors are important because in natural situations almost all gaze cues are provided alongside spoken language and within some sort of social context. Gaze cues are particularly important when we are working in collaboration with another individual. I have used portable eye-trackers in highly naturalistic settings to investigate how the utilisation of gaze cues varies as language changes. I found that gaze cues are used flexibly depending on how informative they are relative to information conveyed in language. In addition I have investigated the effects that an individual’s social perceptions of a collaborator have on the way in which they use information provided by the collaborator’s eyes. During a collaborative task, people are more likely to look at someone providing instructions if they perceive them as a leader, compared to an equal. In the MMCI, I am continuing research into the relationship between spoken language and gaze cue utilisation.


Dr. Ross MacDonald

Saarland University
Cluster of Excellence
Multimodal Computing and Interaction

Campus C7 4 Room 2.04
66123, Saarbrücken

Fon: +49 681 302 70042


Saarland University Cluster of Excellence