איך העיניים שלך לבגוד המחשבות שלך

How your eyes betray your thoughts

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukמאמר זה שכותרתו “איך העיניים שלך לבגוד המחשבות שלך” נכתב על ידי מו Costandi, עבור theguardian.com ב -2 יום שלישי יוני 2015 09.00 UTC

על פי האמרה העתיקה, העיניים הן חלונות לתוך הנשמה, חושפים רגשות עמוקים כי אולי נרצה אחרת להסתיר. אף שהמדע המודרני מונע את קיומה של הנשמה, זה עולה כי יש גרעין של אמת זה אומר: מתברר בעיני לא רק לשקף את מה שקורה במוח אך עשוי גם להשפיע על האופן שבו אנחנו זוכרים דברים ולקבל החלטות.

עינינו נעות ללא הרף, ובעוד כמה תנועות אלה נמצאים תחת שליטה מודעת, רבים מהם להתרחש במודע. כאשר אנו קוראים, למשל, אנחנו עושים סדרה של תנועות עיניים מהירות מאוד שנקראת קפיצות האלה כי לקבע במהירות על מלים בזו אחר זו. כשאנחנו נכנסים לחדר, אנחנו עושים קפיצות האלה גורפים גדולים כפי שאנו מביטים סביב. ואז יש את קטן, תנועות עיניים לא רצוניות שאנחנו עושים כשאנחנו הולכים, כדי לפצות על תנועת הראש שלנו ולייצב ראיית העולם שלנו. ו, כמובן, עינינו מתרוצצים במהלך 'תנועות עיניים מהירות' (REM) שלב של שינה.

עתיד BBC

מה עכשיו מתבהר הוא שחלק תנועות העיניים שלנו בפועל עשוי לחשוף תהליך החשיבה שלנו.

מחקר שפורסם בשנה שעברה עולה כי הרחבת אישון קשורה למידת הוודאות במהלך קבלת החלטות: אם מישהו הוא פחות בטוח לגבי החלטתם, הם מרגישים עוררות מוגברת, הגורם תלמידים להתרחב. שינוי זה בעין יכול גם ללמד מה מקבל החלטות הוא עומד לומר: קבוצה אחת של חוקרים, לדוגמא, found that watching for dilation made it possible to predict when a cautious person used to saying ‘no’ was about to make the tricky decision to say ‘yes’.

Watching the eyes can even help predict what number a person has in mind. Tobias Loetscher and his colleagues at the University of Zurich recruited 12 volunteers and tracked their eye movements while they reeled off a list of 40 numbers.

They found that the direction and size of the participants’ eye movements accurately predicted whether the number they were about to say was bigger or smaller than the previous one – and by how much. Each volunteer’s gaze shifted up and to the right just before they said a bigger number, and down and to the left before a smaller one. The bigger the shift from one side to the other, the bigger the difference between the numbers.

This suggests that we somehow link abstract number representations in the brain with movement in space. But the study does not tell us which comes first: whether thinking of a particular number causes changes in eye position, or whether the eye position influences our mental activity. ב 2013, researchers in Sweden published evidence that it’s the latter that may be at work: eye movements may actually facilitate memory retrieval.

They recruited 24 students and asked each one to carefully examine a series of objects displayed to them in one corner of a computer screen. The participants were then told to listen to a series of statements about some of the objects they had seen, such as “The car was facing to the left” and asked to indicate as quickly as possible if each was true or false. Some participants were allowed to let their eyes roam about freely; others were asked to fix their gaze on a cross at the centre of the screen, or the corner where the object had appeared, לדוגמא.

The researchers found that those who were allowed to move their eyes spontaneously during recall performed significantly better than those who fixed on the cross. מעניין, למרות ש, participants who were told to fix their gaze in the corner of the screen in which objects had appeared earlier performed better than those told to fix their gaze in another corner. This suggests that the more closely the participants’ eye movements during information encoding corresponded with those that occurred during retrieval of the information, the better they were at remembering the objects. Perhaps that’s because eye movements help us to recall the spatial relationships between objects in the environment at the time of encoding.

These eye movements can occur unconsciously. “When people are looking at scenes they have encountered before, their eyes are frequently drawn to information they have already seen, even when they have no conscious memory of it,” says Roger Johansson, a psychologist at Lund University who led the study.

Watching eye movements can also be used to nudge people’s decisions. One recent study showed – maybe worryingly – that eye-tracking can be exploited to influence the moral decisions we take.

Researchers asked participants complex moral questions such as “Can murder ever be justified?” and then displayed, on a computer screen, alternative answers (“sometimes justifiable” or “never justifiable”). By tracking the participants’ eye movements, and removing the two answer options immediately after a participant had spent a certain amount of time gazing at one of the two options, the researchers found that they could nudge the participants to provide that particular option as their answer.

“We didn’t give them any more information,” says neuroscientist Daniel Richardson of University College London, senior author of study. “We simply waited for their own decision-making processes to unfold and interrupted them at exactly the right point. We made them change their minds just by controlling when they made the decision.”

Richardson adds that successful salespeople may have some insight into this, and use it to be more persuasive with clients. “We think of persuasive people as good talkers, but maybe they’re also observing the decision-making process,", הוא אומר. “Maybe good salespeople can spot the exact moment you’re wavering towards a certain choice, and then offer you a discount or change their pitch.”

The ubiquity of eye-tracking apps for smartphones and other hand-held devices raises the possibility of altering people’s decision-making process remotely. “If you’re shopping online, they might bias your decision by offering free shipping at the moment you shift your gaze to a particular product.”

כָּך, eye movements can both reflect and influence higher mental functions such as memory and decision-making, and betray our thoughts, beliefs, and desires. This knowledge may give us ways of improving our mental functions – but it also leaves us vulnerable to subtle manipulation by other people.

“The eyes are like a window into our thought processes, and we just don’t appreciate how much information might be leaking out of them,” says Richardson. “They could potentially reveal things that a person might want to suppress, such as implicit racial bias.”

“I can see eye-tracking apps being used for, לוֹמַר, supportive technologies that figure out what phone function you need and then help out," הוא מוסיף, “but if they’re left on all the time they could be used to track all sorts of other things. This would provide much richer information, and raises the possibility of unwittingly sharing our thoughts with others.”

This is an edited version of a feature I wrote for BBC.com/Future, a website covering science, health and technology.

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