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SCIENTIFICAMERICAN

When Our Gaze Is a Physical Force

When Our Gaze Is a Physical Force

scientificamerican.com

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How we interpret gaze

  • We give gaze physical properties.
  • We create implicit mental programmes in which the visual attention of others is understood as a forceful beam emitted from the viewer’s eye and directed at the object of interest.
  • These mental programmes allow us to use cognitive shortcuts...

It can synchronize activities and convey social dynamics without a gesture or spoken word.

It requires a quick interpretation and explanation of the meaning behind another person's gaze, but the trade-off for the speed of that interpretation is the mistaken understanding of gaze as somethi...

Extramission means “sending out,” and the extramission theory is the belief that vision is a force emitted from the eye. It is an intuitive understanding of vision common among children that persists among many adults.

In contrast, the modern visual theory is called “intromission...

The power of gaze appears in stories and myths throughout the centuries.

  • Medusa turned people to stone with her gaze.
  • The catoblepas and the basilisk, both described by Pliny the Elder, could kill with the single glance.
  • In Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, Venus co...

  • It reveals where a person is focusing their attention, and, when directed at us, it can have a strong emotional effect.
  • Gaze can play a role in social organization, with a direct gaze demonstrating social dominance and gaze aversion indicating passivity.
  • Eye contact can ...

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