Presentation Title

Psychosocial and Electrophysiological Factors Contributing to the Detection of a Stare

Presenter Information

Tiffany DuarteFollow

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 269

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Most people say they have sensed somebody staring at them. In fact, the ability to detect staring could have been an evolutionary advantage for humans during the Prehistoric Era if a large animal were about to attack. Past studies indicate that at least some of the time, people can detect one’s gaze, with time, distance, and the focus of a stare playing roles in its detection. Some studies propose that the detection involves electrophysiological energy that comes from the eyes. If our eyes do emit energy, then the intensity of a stare should play a role in detection. For this project, the ability to detect staring was investigated by focusing on the mental state of the “staree” as well as the intensity of the stare from the “starer.” To count as a true detection, the staree had to say “yes” within four seconds of being stared at. For one trial the staree wouldn’t think of anything (null trial); the other trial consisted of the staree thinking about something detailed (concentration trial). With a sample size of fifteen for both trials, the null trials showed that eighty percent of the subjects were able to detect the stare, but only thirty-three percent were successful in the concentration trials. These findings suggest that if the eyes emit energy, the ability to detect a stare also depends on the mental state of the staree—if his or her mind was clear while the starer held an intense gaze.

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Nov 12th, 3:00 PM Nov 12th, 3:15 PM

Psychosocial and Electrophysiological Factors Contributing to the Detection of a Stare

HUB 269

Most people say they have sensed somebody staring at them. In fact, the ability to detect staring could have been an evolutionary advantage for humans during the Prehistoric Era if a large animal were about to attack. Past studies indicate that at least some of the time, people can detect one’s gaze, with time, distance, and the focus of a stare playing roles in its detection. Some studies propose that the detection involves electrophysiological energy that comes from the eyes. If our eyes do emit energy, then the intensity of a stare should play a role in detection. For this project, the ability to detect staring was investigated by focusing on the mental state of the “staree” as well as the intensity of the stare from the “starer.” To count as a true detection, the staree had to say “yes” within four seconds of being stared at. For one trial the staree wouldn’t think of anything (null trial); the other trial consisted of the staree thinking about something detailed (concentration trial). With a sample size of fifteen for both trials, the null trials showed that eighty percent of the subjects were able to detect the stare, but only thirty-three percent were successful in the concentration trials. These findings suggest that if the eyes emit energy, the ability to detect a stare also depends on the mental state of the staree—if his or her mind was clear while the starer held an intense gaze.