The thoughtful gaze

news @ nature.com – I’m not ignoring you; I’m thinking – Gazing into the middle distance improves your concentration.:

Teachers everywhere can be heard shouting “look at me when I’m talking to you”. But research presented today at the British Association’s Festival of Science in Norwich, UK, suggests that they should be doing exactly the opposite.

When posed with a conundrum, it is normal for adults and older children to look away, staring in an unfocused way out of the window or at a patch of the carpet. This aimless gaze isn’t necessarily thanks to an attitude of indifference or indolence, but instead might be helping the brain to concentrate.

I think a lot during conversations and have been painfully conscious of this habit, which Nature says was proven to be natural, when talking with people. I can hardly look at people when talking because I am focusing on what they are saying. So, now I can point to this article and move on.

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Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.