1. Where your date is looking can indicate whether they’re assessing you as a romantic partner or lusting with sexual desire.
A new study published in Psychological Science tracked participants’ eye movements when shown non-erotic images of attractive people of the opposite sex looking directly into the camera.
2. Researchers found that visual patterns concentrated more on a stranger’s face if the viewer saw the person as a potential for romance.
Before you say “duh,” the automatic judgment can occur in as little as half a second, so it might not be perceivable.
3. When the images with direct eye contact made participants lusty, their gaze tended to look more at the person’s body.
The effects was shown for both men and women. And when shown images of young couples interacting with each other, participants could suss out whether they were feeling romantic love or lust.
The researchers believe the brain can process both emotions quickly, and the eye-tracking can eventually be a new biomarker for psychiatry or couple’s therapy instead of only relying on patients’ self-reports.