Wilkinson, N., Metta, G., & Gredebäck, G. (2011) Inter-facial relations: Binocular geometry when eyes meet. Proceedings of ICMC International Conference on Morphology and Computation.

Infants are sensitive to eye contact and face like stimuli from birth. We advance the novel hypothesis that the observed sensitivity of human neonates to eye contact may be mediated in part by sensor distribution. The arrangement of the observers eyes acts as a morphological template for eye-like fea- ture pairs in the world, providing certain geometric constraints on stereo relations which may help to focus attention on eye- like stimuli. We give a brief proof-of-concept demonstration and discuss how this morphological mechanism could be exploited by humans and humanoid robots to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of eye contact. We advance three experimental hypotheses which would help to distinguish this mechanism from existing explanations.