Article | Why its hard to talk and make eye contact at the same time

RESEARCH DIGEST|Christian Jarrett reveals that eye contact interferes with other mental tasks, hence the urge to break off eye contact in conversations

“When someone’s talking to you, have you noticed how they seem to keep breaking off eye contact, as if finding it hard to both talk and look you in the eye at the same time? Similarly, when you’re explaining something to someone or telling them a story, do you find yourself looking away from their eyes, so that you can concentrate on what you’re saying? A pair of Japanese researchers say that this happens because eye contact has a “unique effect” on our “cognitive control processes”. Essentially, mutual gaze is so mentally stimulating that it can be tricky to think straight and maintain eye contact at the same time.

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Research Digest 18.11.2016 || Christian Jarrett

Image via Craig Sunter/Flickr

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