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Eye contact Infographic

What Do Your Eyes Tell the World?

Identifying and interpreting the eye movements of our closest comrades or newest acquaintances is an innate part of human nature

Eye Movements Are Key to Human Bonding and Survival (*according to a 2014 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report)

Our day-to-day lives have relied on the accuracy of our eye movements since infancy

Research Shows that infants have the ability to:

  • Respond to different eye gazes as early as 7-months-old
  • Detect subtle, unconscious social cues that provide the foundation for developing social skills

The Sclara =The large, bright white part of the eye is unique to humans in the primate world

  • Allows us to easily track the eye movements of others and engage in nonverbal communication e.g,flirting, ignoring, or rolling your eyes in annoyance

The Saccades =Rapid eye movements shift your vision from one spot to another and relay subconscious social cues to others

  • Humans perform 3-5 of these movements per second on an ordinary day.That’s around 500,000 per day!

Angle, direction, and speed of eye movements can have a multitude of meanings

Eye Reading: Are Your Eyes Giving Away All of Your Secrets?

Pupil dilation -Though our eyes naturally dilate in low light, it can also indicate someone is emotionally or physically stimulated

Blinking -“Batting your eyelashes” or blinking more than the average 10X/minute can indicate physical or emotional attraction

Eye contact

  • Maintaining regular intervals of eye contact is an important part of communication
  • Though constant eye contact can be seen as intimidation
  • Adults keep eye contact an average of 30-60% of the time during conversation (*according to communications-analytics company Quantified Impression)

Experts recommend holding eye contact for7-10 seconds in a one-on-one conversation and3-5 seconds in a group setting

Gaze aversion

  • Reports show that it’s a common belief across 75 countries and 43 different languages that liars avert their gaze
  • Experiments show that Westerners only detect a liar 54% percent of the time, so experts don’t see eye aversion as a reliable detection method (*according to a 2010 Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology report)

Eye Direction

  • Many people falsely believe that there are universal symbols for hidden meanings of eye direction

(e.g., looking to the left = visual constructing images/lying and looking to the right = remembering)

  • Reading eye direction accuratley may only be possible in our closest relationships

We use our eyes consciously and subconsciously to influence others, but peering into the human eye can also reveal over 30 physical medical conditions

The Eyes Are the Gateway to Your... Health?

Research shows that an eye exam was the first healthcare testto detect these chronic conditions (*according to a 2013 internal study of 120K patients by VSP Vision Care)

62% of cases of high cholesterol

39% of cases of high blood pressure

34% of diabetes cases

Over 30 medical conditions can be diagnosed by peering into the human eye


  • Can be indicated by dots of blood in the eye
  • Blood sugar builds up too high, then blood vessels block, swell, and burst in the retina
  • Can potentially lead to impaired vision and even blindness

High cholesterol and triglycerides

  • Linked to gray/white rings around the edge of the cornea
  • Can mean increased risk for heart attack and stroke

High blood pressure

  • Causes tiny blood vessels in the retina to loop and twist
  • "Dents" in retinal veins, a condition known as A-V nicking signifies ahigh risk for a stroke.

Overactive thyroid (Grave’s Disease)

  • “Bug eyes” are a common sign of overactive thyroid
  • Can be coupled with symptoms of weight loss, nervousness, or a rapid or irregular pulse


  • Clouding of the normally clear eye lens most common in older people
  • Younger adults with diabetes, tumors, or those experiencing medication side effects can also be affected
  • Can be corrected with surgery, or blindness can occur

Skin cancer

  • Can appear as eyelid sores coupled with loss of eyelashes
  • Without treatment, disfigurement, blindness, and death can happen if it reaches the brain through the eye socket

Other cancers

  • Cancer that arises in other parts of the body can show up in the eyes first
  • Most common cancers that spread to the eyes are lung cancer for men and breast cancer for women


  • Yellowing of the white part of the eye
  • Frequently indicates liver damage/liver disease or hepatitis

Are the eyes really the the window to the soul, body, and more?


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