Have you ever wondered why it becomes so difficult to look into someone's eyes while you are talking to them, no matter how invested you are in the conversation?
There’s now a scientific explanation for the weird phenomenon.
Researchers from Kyoto University think that when we’re having a conversation, our brain handles two simultaneous tasks - focusing on a face and thinking of the right words.
It becomes more difficult for a person to make eye contact if they are focussing more on trying to come up with less familiar words in the conversation.
This happens because it becomes difficult as the brain uses the same mental resources at the same time.
Researchers reached the conclusion after doing an experiment on 26 volunteers. These volunteers were asked to concentrate on a computer-generated face while playing word associated games. It became difficult for them to come up with links between words while concentrating on the faces.
This suggests that there is a link between these processes.
What might be the reason?
Researchers think that this might be happening because of the inability of the brain to handle too much information at once. Both are cognitive actions, which might be drawing resources from the same part of the brain.
Scientists term this process as neural adaptation. Basically, our brain alters its response to a stimulus that doesn't change. For example, placing a hand on table gives a sensation for a certain period of time. Once we continue with the process, the feeling fades.
The researchers says that the volunteers in the experiment might be feeling the same neural adaptation. But, they keep looking for more cues related to the link between verbal and non-verbal communication.
If someone is not looking at you during the conversation, he might be overloaded cognitively. Don't judge them as rude!