Every year every second Thursday of October, the world celebrates the Day of Sight. This is a significant date, given that man is a unique living organism. Views in society occupy no less important place than communication with the help of words.
How do eyes attract the eye?
Man is so constituted that he automatically searches for the interlocutor’s eyes – this is an innate property that turns on immediately after birth. Newborn babies from 2 to 5 days old already prefer to look into the eyes of the mother. In an uncomplicated experiment, the kids were offered photos of women with their eyes closed and open – and they spent much more time reviewing the pictures where the eyes were open.
Nature made sure that the eyes of man became the most visible part of his body. Practically in all other living creatures, the whites of the eyes are not visible, because the pupil occupies a much larger area or the sclera is significantly darker. This is necessary to hide the direction of the predator’s gaze from potential prey. And a person’s eyes are clearly visible – a large area of white sclera emphasizes them, highlights, attracts attention. Increased attention to the other person’s view allows us to form and maintain cooperative interactions between people, to create the basis for the formation of new social skills.
A foreign view is so important to a person that in situations where it is difficult to assess the degree of visual interest of the interlocutor (for example, when the latter is wearing dark glasses), he will systematically overestimate the attention paid to him. That is, it will seem to him that they constantly look at him, although in reality, this is usually not the case.
Long look and features of the psyche
For most animals, a direct look in the eyes is a manifestation of a threat. But not for man. For people, direct eye contact is a necessary part of communication; it makes a person more attractive and even reliable. Lack of, avoidance of direct visual contact or problems are symptoms of some mental disorders: schizophrenia, autism, etc. But too long a close look at the eyes is also a characteristic sign of mental problems: disturbances of socialization, increased anxiety, etc.
An interesting nuance: in a dog shelter, people quickly sort out those dogs who can frown for a moment like their “inner eyebrows” and thus make their eyes bigger.
During the experiments, scientists found out that there is a so-called preferred gaze length (PGD) – the amount of time necessary and sufficient to create comfortable social contact. For an ordinary, mentally healthy person, this figure is 3.3 seconds. Shorter or longer gazes cause discomfort and make a person feel insecure.
Mystic of the sixth sense
The overwhelming majority of people (94%) claim that they are able to feel the “back” of another person’s gaze. Alas. Numerous studies have shown that the degree of “sensitivity” to other people’s views is associated exclusively with the purity of the experiment. It is necessary to build a strict observation conditions, as the sixth sense of the subjects disappears.
The desire to search for the eye of another person often leads to self-deception. Suppose a person walks down the street and, due to anxiety and mysticism of his nature, he feels someone else’s look on him. He quickly turns around and … Any passer-by who is nearby at this moment will instinctively react and automatically meet his gaze. But this is not a sixth sense, but just a game of imagination complete with instinctive behavior.
Vision and health
Usually, vision deteriorates gradually, without pain or other symptoms. As a result, most people postpone indefinitely going to the doctor, until the vision drops to critical values for human existence. Only in Russia, half of the country’s inhabitants have eye diseases, often without even knowing it. Most often, Russians over 40 suffer from age-related macular degeneration (macular dystrophy). Among other, the most “popular” diseases – cataract and glaucoma.
Women, due to their hormonal characteristics, are more vulnerable to eye diseases than men. All the above illnesses they suffer more often. And in menopause, when their health especially vulnerable, they are also joined by dry eyes, also associated with a deficiency of female sex hormones.In pregnant women, vision additionally suffers on the background of high blood pressure, migraines and pre-diabetic condition.
Science and Vision
But science is rapidly moving forward. We already know about several successful attempts to cure macular dystrophy with the help of the patient’s own stem cells. No further, as in the spring of this year, Japanese scientists reported a successful attempt to see patients with multiple sclerosis.
For those to whom stem cells cannot help, methods of vision correction based on liquid crystal lenses (LCD lenses) are being developed. First of all, such simplified versions of modern monitors will appear in the eyes of older people with presbyopia, suffering from violations of the focusing of the eye at close range. It is assumed that the LCD-lenses will autofocus on the signal from the muscles of the eye.
Another area of research in the field of new methods of treatment of visual impairment is the development of a bionic eye. In a miniature video camera, an image obtained from outside using a special device is transformed into electrical impulses, which are then transmitted via the wireless network to the patient’s retina. Now a similar technique can be used to treat retinitis pigmentosa.
And while science is in the process of creating new ways to treat eye diseases, doctors recommend that patients with amblyopia (“lazy eye”) move more. Studies have shown that increased physical activity leads to an increase in the number of connections between brain neurons located in the area of the cortex responsible for vision. The ability of brain tissue to adapt to changing external conditions is called neuroplasticity. And the higher the level of physical activity, the more pronounced the neuroplasticity of the brain.
- Vision provides not only the ability of a person to navigate the environment and receive information. It is necessary for people for social contacts. It is vision that largely determines human behavior in society and society’s reaction to it.
- To preserve vision, all means are good. While science is storming new frontiers, it is enough to lead a healthy lifestyle, move a lot and consult a doctor at the first symptoms of eye diseases. This will postpone the moment of significant visual impairment and allow waiting for the emergence of mass modern technologies aimed at treating age-related changes.