Physical explanation of eye contact

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Is it not fascinating that you can feel eye contact on such distances we do?

What is it that we actually detect?

I understand that the eye absorb light, it may be the starting point for the explanation?
 
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Nugatory
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Wha exactly does eye “contact” mean? Answer that question and you will have the answer to your question.
 
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Eyes reflect some light, just like every other body part. You can see in which direction they look if they are not too far away. Humans have a lot of experience in judging where someone looks as eye contact has an important role in society.

If you don't see the eyes of that person you can't detect where they are looking at.
 
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Hum, yes but what is causing the feeling?
Is it that the eyes detect the absence of light from the point in space, compared to the surroundings?

Imagine two matrices of light values, each representing one decoded vision of the environment for one person:

564326
45(2)34
587867

454767
34(2)78
455676

Let (2) be the incoming center for the pupil. Is this what our sensors detect as "eye contact"?
 
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Is it that the eyes detect the absence of light from the point in space, compared to the surroundings?
No. You just look at the eyes in the same way as you look at the nose or anything else. There is nothing special about the eyes of a different person. What your brain makes out of the knowledge what a person is looking at is a question of biology.
Imagine two matrices of light values, each representing one decoded vision of the environment for one person
That makes no sense.
 
  • #6
pinball1970
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Is it not fascinating that you can feel eye contact on such distances we do?

What is it that we actually detect?

I understand that the eye absorb light, it may be the starting point for the explanation?
Context is important here, if you are in a crowd looking for a friend then you have primed your brain to find a specific shape colour features etc.
Eye contact with a stranger has lots of connotations, potential mate, enemy, family member. Millions of years of evolution at work.
 
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berkeman
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