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Study shows we can’t truly hide information as our eyes give it away

Study shows we can’t truly hide information as our eyes give it away

Tuesday 27 August 2019

A new study carried out has proved that eyes can be the first indicator that you know someone, even if you try to hide it verbally.

The study found that when looking at a recognisable face, the eyes automatically look at a small number of features on someone's face.

When the same test was completed with unrecognisable faces there were different results. Eyes tended to focus on one feature, like the shape and bridge of a nose, and then momentarily stop as if they were scanning information to the brain. After this slight hesitation, the eyes would focus on more facial features.

The 48 subjects were given pictures that were a mixture of strangers and people they knew. Half of the subjects were then told how to control their natural eye movements and achieve the goal of hiding recognition.

In most cases, the subjects were unable to hide their natural eye movements.

Alisa Millen is a psychology researcher for the University of Stirling. Millen led the team that completed the study.

She said, “markers for facial recognition in eye movements is difficult, especially if you know that person well. She added the more the students tried to hide recognition of a face, the more apparent it was.”

The finding is suggested to be productive for investigative officers, who often have to extract information from unwilling witnesses or plaintiffs.

Investigators often rely on lie detector tests, which have been proven to be incorrect at times. Usually, sweaty-hands and a fast heartbeat can be an indication of truth-telling. But, people can learn to control those pushing a need for this type of study.


  1. Eye see through you!.

  2. Our Eyes Show Others What We Try to Hide .


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