The difficulty of eye contact during conversation may be due to 'load on the brain'



Many people were told when they were children that 'Look at the other person's eyes when talking', but some people are not good at making eye contact while talking to others. Researchers from Kyoto University have published a study result that 'eye contact consumes brain resources and makes conversation difficult.'

When we cannot speak: Eye contact disrupts resources available to cognitive control processes during verb generation-ScienceDirect

This Could Be Why It's So Hard to Maintain Eye Contact While Having a Conversation

It is said that making proper eye contact with the other person during conversation is important for building a trusting relationship with the other person through conversation, but it is difficult to keep staring at the other person's eyes for some reason. Tend to distract. In 2016, Noboru Tsujimura and others who studied educational cognitive psychology at Kyoto University studied the effects of eye contact on brain language processing.

“Eye contact and linguistic processing seem to be independent, but people in conversation often look away from the other party,” Sugawara and others point out. He thought that there might be some relation between the language processing performed in eye contact and conversation.

In the study, verbs related to a specific word were spoken verbally for 26 volunteers, gazing at the “faces that are eye-contacted by looking at this” and “faces that are looking away”. We had you challenge task to answer. For example, when the noun “knife” is given, verbs such as “stab” and “cut” are related.


Christina Morillo

As a result of the research, language processing was not affected when the face of the animation was away from the eyes, whereas when the eye was in contact with the face of the animation, the volunteers had time to think about the corresponding words. I understood that it took. The word association became difficult during eye contact, especially for words that were relatively difficult to understand, such as “leaf” to “fall”.

Sugawara et al. Think that maintaining eye contact and linguistic processing use the same cognitive processing resources as to why eye contact affects language processing. In other words, if the conversation is simple to some extent, word association is also easy, and it is possible to continue the conversation while making eye contact. However, when the conversation requires a higher level of cognitive ability, the cognitive ability pool is depleted. There is a possibility that.

by Vera Arsic

Although the sample size of the experiment is small, the result of this study is that `` Even if a person diverts his eyes during a conversation and interrupts eye contact, he does not hate the other person or feel the conversation boring '.

There is also a research result that “too much eye contact makes the other person uncomfortable,” and it seems that the longer the eye contact, the better.

How long does it make eye contact feel uncomfortable? -GIGAZINE

by Luca Campioni

in Science, Posted by log1h_ik