Out of sight out of mind? How does it work?
Life & Society
The eyes will spend more time closed, which increases the subject's isolation, or in a vacuum, without trying to acquire precise details.Updated on October 14, 2020, Seytoo
What you should understand through this adage is that you don't think about what you don't see regularly. Maybe the opposite is also true? Everyone remembers (well, remembers, everything is relative) the trigonometry classes or the glycol-genogenesis classes (I warned), and the difficulty of paying attention to what is written on the blackboard when the mind wanders. Out of mind, out of sight.
We already knew that when we get lost in our thoughts, the activity of the brain related to the management of external information slows down, in favor of internal information. If this is true at the brain level, then it must have an impact on the behavior of our body. In particular, on the sensory receptor evoked by the adage: the eye is particularly important. Two researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have taken an interest in the activity of the eye, specifically relating to concentration on a task.
The experiment they designed involves asking 15 volunteers to read a text on a computer. Using a camera, eye movements are tracked and recorded, making it possible to know, in addition to the word the subject is reading, the number of times their eyelids are blinking. In addition, from time to time, the computer beeps, and the subject must indicate whether he is currently paying attention to what they are reading or whether their mind is elsewhere (including whether they are thinking about other parts of the text). We can thus realize that when we think of something else, the eyes remain less fixed, and the eyelids flutter more.
The researchers explain this in the light of what we already know about brain activity: the subject will seek to acquire less external information if he is lost in his thoughts, since in any case these are judged less important by the brain. Thus, the eyes will spend more time closed, which increases the subject's isolation, or in a vacuum, without trying to acquire precise details.
More subtle than a yawn, blinking eyes can be a good indicator of the general level of attention. Of course, the applications go further than the math course: for example, one can imagine a security system for transport based in part on this, to warn the driver / driver / pilot that his concentration drops.