It is said that the eyes are the ” mirror of the soul “, that when we look someone in the eye, we are able to perceive their essence. And the truth is that this statement is not entirely wrong, because the eyes offer a lot of information about the emotional state of a person.

When people are sad or worried they frown, this makes their eyes appear smaller. But when they are happy we say that their eyes shine, because this emotion causes them to raise their eyebrows, so that the eyes appear larger and can receive more brightness.

Also, we can distinguish between a genuine smile, also known as a ” Duchenne smile ” and a fake smile, just by looking into the person’s eyes. In fact, the movements of the mouth are easy to imitate, we do it continuously out of courtesy, but the eyes do not lie: when we are really happy we can not only smile but also wrinkle the lines on the side of the eyes, offering a genuine smile. However, when people fake a smile, they usually forget about the eyes, which remain expressionless.

What the eyes and eye movements say

If the eye is the mirror, the pupil is literally an opening in the eye. The pupil works like a camera’s shutter, expanding and contracting to adjust the amount of light entering the eye. Therefore, our eyes contract with light and expand with darkness.

What the pupils say

But the eyes not only respond to light, they also express our emotions and intentions. In fact, the pupils dilate even when we are excited, because our body activates an alert network that involves the autonomic nervous system preparing to respond when faced with a threat or an opportunity. For this reason, pupil dilation is considered a true sign of sexual interest.

However, the pupils dilate even in response to a stimulus that draws our attention. When we are exploring the environment, for example, the pupils dilate to capture as much visual information as possible. Therefore, the dilation of the eyes is considered a sign of great interest even in conversation.

Eye movement

But our eyes are not the only ones offering information. Even eye movements are important . In fact, a study conducted at Arizona State University found that curious people often continuously roll their eyes. These psychologists assessed the level of curiosity of the participants, such as the desire to acquire new knowledge and new experiences. They were later asked to view a series of images, while their eye movements were monitored. So they saw that the most curious were even those who constantly moved their eyes looking for information.

The way to move the eyelids

Also by closing the eyelids we can reveal valuable information about ourselves. In this sense, some psychologists at the University of Portsmouth have discovered that the way we blink  can indicate whether we are lying. The researchers asked a group of people to tell a false story and others to recall an event that actually happened in their lives. Analyzing their behavior they saw that when a person is lying they do not close their eyes continuously .

It is interesting, because normally opening and closing the eyes several times is considered a sign of nervousness, and keeping the eyes open for a long time means that we are making a cognitive effort. In fact, when we lie, our brain can become cognitively overloaded, preventing it from maintaining the same level of control over various functions that normally occur automatically.

So, now you know that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, or at least a small window that shows a part of us and discovers a part of the other.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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