I think some facts in this article might be useful to consider.
- eye structure distinct from all other animals
- “specialised to draw us to the gaze of others – our eyes are also exceptionally formed to catch attention and easily reveal the direction of gaze”
- “Disturbances of normal gaze processing are seen across a wide range of conditions. For example, people on the autistic spectrum spend less time in general fixating on the eyes of others. They also have more trouble extracting information from eyes, such as emotion or intentions, and are less able to tell when someone is looking directly at them. On the other extreme, highly socially anxious people tend to fixate on eyes more than those with low anxiety, even though they show increased physiological fear reactions when under the direct gaze of another.”
- “evolved to support cooperative interactions between humans, and is argued to form the foundation for many of our more complex social skills”
- Memory biases may also also come into play.
This is interesting in relation to the the Fenichel article we looked at the very beginning of the course and especially Foucault’s Discipline and Punish chapter which I’m reading at the moment, (which incidentally, is terrifically fascinating).