Eye behavior

Reginald B. Adams, Anthony J. Nelson, Kevin Purring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


The eyes are often regarded as the "window to the soul." In this chapter, we explore the science behind how they provide a window to social and emotional perception. From the moment of birth, we are attracted to eyes, and we are not the only species that is. The eyes allow us to read the intentions that others have toward us. In humans, contemporary research reveals that the ability to process the eyes of others plays a critical role in the development of complex mental state reasoning, a realization that has led to a wide spectrum of conceptually related work across several research domains including clinical, developmental, and social psychology, primatology, visual cognition, and the cognitive and affective neurosciences. In this chapter we review the vast literature on eye behavior, exploring both the classic and contemporary, making connections across them and highlighting taproot themes in the literature. Advances in theory and technology have led to new insights to old questions, as well as to entirely new questions of interest. What is clear throughout all this work is that the eyes hold special prominence in nonverbal communication, both as a source of social expression and as a channel of social perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNonverbal Communication
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783110238150
ISBN (Print)9783110238143
StatePublished - Jan 22 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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