Researchers Find Eyes Are More Than Just a ‘Window to the Soul’admin
“‘The eyes are the window to the soul’ is an ancient saying supported by many scientific studies linking pupil dilation and eye gaze to mental states such as attention and intention. Here we show that the eyes not only reveal the inner workings of one mind, but reveal when two minds connect,” associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, and principals investigator of the Dartmouth Social Intelligence Laboratory Thalia Wheatley said of new research recently released in Experimental Psychology: General in a statement.
In their experiment, Dartmouth reserachers tracked the pattern of study participants’ pupil dilation while they were shown 8 films of people reading an autobiographical story. Four were considered “highly expressive” while the other 4 were considered “low expressive”. Listeners then watched the speakers’ video clips while their pupil dilations were tracked with an infrared eye tracker.
The reserachers found that the “moments of high emotion saw all of the viewers’ pupils dilate in synchronization with the speaker,” IFLScience.com reported. In addition to dilating to adjust to the amount of light that enters the eye, pupils also subconsciously dilate as a physiological response to social, emotional, and sexual stimuli. This study “builds on the wealth of other research…that suggests the eyes can reveal a lot about the contents of a person’s consciousness, mood, desires, and even perhaps their sexual orientation,” Tom Hale writes.