Would you look where Berlusconi is looking?

Our attention is pulled in the direction of where we see other people looking. It happens so automatically that experts have assumed it's a reflex response, impervious to conscious factors, such as the particular identity of the gazer whose line of sight we're following. But a recent monkey study challenged this interpretation: high-status macaques were observed following the gaze of other high-status, but not low-status, monkeys.

Inspired by this result, a team of Italian psychologists have examined whether our attention is influenced more by the gaze of politicians whose political persuasion matches our own.

Find out more about their study, including how it involved Silvio Berlusconi, on our Research Digest.