One's own face and gaze are never seen directly but only in a mirror. Yet, these stimuli capture attention more powerfully than others' face and gaze, suggesting the self is special for brain and behavior. Synchronous touches felt on one's own and seen on the face of others induce the sensation of including others in one's own face (enfacement). We demonstrate that enfacement may also reduce the overwhelming distracting power of self-gaze. This effect, hereafter called 'engazement', depends on the perceived physical attractiveness and inner beauty of the pair partner. Thus, we highlight for the first time the close link between enfacement and engazement by showing that changes of the self-face representation induced by facial visuo-tactile stimulation extend to gaze following, a separate process likely underpinned by different neural substrates. Moreover, although gaze following is a largely automatic, engazement is penetrable to the influence of social variables, such as positive interpersonal perception.
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