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Metaphysics & Psychology

Are eyes really a window to the soul ?

March 23, 2012 | Comment icon 45 comments

Image Credit: sxc.hu
A new study conducted by Yale University psychologists suggests that most people think so.
Researchers conducted three experiments that involved showing participants images of cartoon characters with a small object drawn next to them. When asked to state which image showed the object closest to the character, most people picked the image showing the object closest to the eyes - the point at which the 'soul' is most frequently thought to be located.

"The indirect nature of our method, and the fact that these judgments are shared by adults and preschoolers, suggests that our results do not reflect a culturally learned understanding but might instead be rooted in a more intuitive or phenomenological sense of where in our bodies we reside," concluded the researchers.
As the cheesy pickup line suggests, your eyes may really be the window to your soul. According to a new study by Yale University psychologists, most people intuitively feel as if their "self" otherwise known as their soul, or ego exists in or near their eyes.

Source: Live Science | Comments (45)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #36 Posted by LEGIONS 10 years ago
No eyes = no soul? Awww. gotta hate being excluded haha
Comment icon #37 Posted by ImSerious7777 7 years ago
When a society loses its understanding of metaphor, its creativity is declining... The article is saying that which we perceive to be the inner emotions of the person is revealed through the eyes.. If you look into a person's eyes and sense "rage", or "discomfort" you know to stay away... If you look into a person's eyes and sense "joy", "attraction" you know you can converse with them... .........So, when people look into my eyes and tell me they see an endless abyss, or that they see death when they look into my eyes, or that I have no soul, or that they can't look me in the eye because it i... [More]
Comment icon #38 Posted by LostSouls7 7 years ago
i knew there was a bloody reason why I always wear sun glasses when I am out in public... i don't want anyone to look into my soul...
Comment icon #39 Posted by Whisperer 7 years ago
So if I read the article right, it's perception that is analagous to the Soul and not the eyes per say...seems an exercise in semantics more than anything...
Comment icon #40 Posted by Hugh 7 years ago
From the article: "It is also worth noting that the part of the brain in which self-awareness is thought to arise, called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, happens to be located behind the eyes. It is possible, Burton said, that we may "feel" as if we are physically located near our eyes because our identity emerges in the neurons there." I'd agree with that, I intuitively feel that's where my awareness rises as well. So it isn't really "in the eyes" as the thread title says, it's behind the eyes, in the "ventromedial prefrontal cortex" in the brain. If one's eyes are surgically removed, the... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by GrimmOne 7 years ago
Its maybe one of the reasons that poker players where those shades to hide there eyes
Comment icon #42 Posted by jmccr8 7 years ago
I would be hesitant to agree with this,there are people that are naturally nervous and their eye movements may look like they are lying or being deceptive.I would concede that emotions may be expressed through the eyes to some extent,although ,personally I find the face a theater of expression.Depending on the situation when I am angry,I may have an odd smile of anticipation,or you might see my eyes change color as the muscles in my jaw knot up,or just a cold heat being emitted and the tone of my voice.For the most part I am usually smiling and easy going so for many people I don't really appe... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by NiteMarcher 7 years ago
It's not just about the physical appearance of ones eyes-- --it's more like what's beneath, beyond--or more less a reflection of what lays within an individual--a sort of knowing, feeling and being able to recognize that which lurks much deeper than just what one is physically seeing when looking into another's eyes. It is the covering, the lenses-- And as for those who cannot see, their hearing is elevated and much more pronounced than you or I--a gift in a sense that not all will come to understand...
Comment icon #44 Posted by spud the mackem 7 years ago
Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord , I look into your eyes and what do I see, they look all bloodshot with little veins due to too much smoking and drinking .
Comment icon #45 Posted by back to earth 7 years ago
How many psychologists even know what 'soul' is anyway ? A.. Not many! ... Even the Jungian's ! I have a couple of books lamenting the trend of Jungian psychologists to 'modify away from' Jung's concepts of 'soul' .... written by other Jungian psychologists.

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