Eye Contact

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Offline FredL

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Eye Contact
« on: 26/07/2009 22:22:24 »
What is "Eye Contact"?  Are there any measurable physiological effects of making eye contact with someone?  Are there any functional MRI observable effects in the brain during eye contact?  Can one person believe that they have made eye contact with another person while that other person does not?



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Eye Contact
« Reply #1 on: 26/07/2009 23:34:49 »
I don't know about MRI scans but eye contact with some people can have a profound effect on my heart rate! That woman in the shop down the road, for instance - or the hard looking big issue seller at the station.


Offline Pwee

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Eye Contact
« Reply #2 on: 27/07/2009 09:03:58 »
I myself don't know much about eye contact, but I searched it up for you on pubmed.

Most articles I found are studies made with couple of months old infants, to determin the early mechanisms of social learning, face recognition, etc.

Here is an abstract that answers your questions:


The 'eye contact effect' is the phenomenon that perceived eye contact with another human face modulates certain aspects of the concurrent and/or immediately following cognitive processing. In addition, functional imaging studies in adults have revealed that eye contact can modulate activity in structures in the social brain network, and developmental studies show evidence for preferential orienting towards, and processing of, faces with direct gaze from early in life. We review different theories of the eye contact effect and advance a 'fast-track modulator' model. Specifically, we hypothesize that perceived eye contact is initially detected by a subcortical route, which then modulates the activation of the social brain as it processes the accompanying detailed sensory information.