Evolution of social attentional cues: Evidence from the archerfish

Keren Leadner, Liora Sekely, Raymond M. Klein, Shai Gabay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social cues such as gaze, head, and body orientation are essential for the survival of any social animal. The gaze cuing paradigm is a well-studied experimental manipulation, employed to detect automatic attentional shifts in humans. To the best of our knowledge, no previous study has tested non-primates in a paradigm that is similar to the one typically used on humans. Herein, three archerfish observed a conspecific picture oriented toward the right or the left, followed unpredictably by a visual target presented in the socially cued or un-cued location. Similar to the pattern observed in humans, fish demonstrated faster reaction times for targets presented at the socially cued location. Results suggest that social cues may have an early evolutionary origin and can elicit automatic attentional orienting even in species without a visual cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104511
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Archerfish
  • Attentional orienting
  • Automatic processes
  • Perception
  • Social cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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