A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Why getting scared ‘magnifies’ our eyes
-
We go wide-eyed with fear because a larger visual field makes it easier to see threats, and the expression can help others spot the source of danger, say researchers. “Emotional expressions look the way they do for a reason,” says Daniel Lee, a graduate student in the University of Toronto department of psychology. “They are socially useful for communicating emotional states, but they are also useful as raw physical signals. In the case of widened eyes, they help send a clearer gaze signal that tells observers to ‘look there.’”
Lee, his supervisor Adam Anderson, and Joshua Susskind of University of California, San Diego, first found that participants who made wide-eyed fear expressions could literally see more: they were able to discriminate visual patterns farther out in their peripheral vision than participants who made neutral expressions or expressions of disgust.
As reported in Psychological Science, they next investigated the benefits that wide-eyed expressions might confer to onlookers. They found that participants were better able to tell which direction a pair of eyes was looking as the eyes became wider.
And these wider eyes helped participants respond to targets that were located in the direction of the gaze.
Importantly, these benefits did not depend on recognizing the eyes as fearful.

Why getting scared ‘magnifies’ our eyes

-

We go wide-eyed with fear because a larger visual field makes it easier to see threats, and the expression can help others spot the source of danger, say researchers. “Emotional expressions look the way they do for a reason,” says Daniel Lee, a graduate student in the University of Toronto department of psychology. “They are socially useful for communicating emotional states, but they are also useful as raw physical signals. In the case of widened eyes, they help send a clearer gaze signal that tells observers to ‘look there.’”

Lee, his supervisor Adam Anderson, and Joshua Susskind of University of California, San Diego, first found that participants who made wide-eyed fear expressions could literally see more: they were able to discriminate visual patterns farther out in their peripheral vision than participants who made neutral expressions or expressions of disgust.

As reported in Psychological Science, they next investigated the benefits that wide-eyed expressions might confer to onlookers. They found that participants were better able to tell which direction a pair of eyes was looking as the eyes became wider.

And these wider eyes helped participants respond to targets that were located in the direction of the gaze.

Importantly, these benefits did not depend on recognizing the eyes as fearful.

Notes

  1. sun-ch1ld reblogged this from wildcat2030
  2. quydd reblogged this from wildcat2030
  3. fireandcinquefoil reblogged this from wildcat2030
  4. kuckledown reblogged this from wildcat2030
  5. philosopus reblogged this from wildcat2030
  6. shychemist reblogged this from wildcat2030
  7. dreltonsciencenews reblogged this from wildcat2030
  8. snakekoss reblogged this from wildcat2030
  9. nickinargle reblogged this from neuromorphogenesis
  10. ms-spasmodic reblogged this from neuromorphogenesis
  11. achaoticmasterpiece reblogged this from disco-dancer-donna
  12. bubblewrench reblogged this from wildcat2030
  13. kimssecretdiary reblogged this from wildcat2030
  14. dicproposito reblogged this from wildcat2030
  15. the-photos-left-untaken reblogged this from wildcat2030
  16. worldwind007 reblogged this from wildcat2030
  17. youreabominablesocially reblogged this from wildcat2030
  18. disco-dancer-donna reblogged this from neuromorphogenesis
  19. siasiasiasiasiasia reblogged this from wildcat2030
  20. thebiobabe reblogged this from neuromorphogenesis