What your eyes say about you

What your eyes say about you

Our pupils are like black holes that let light through the eyes, but they not only help us see, but they can also teach us what is going on in our mind.

Here are 10 aspects that explain how changes in pupil size reveal many of our thoughts.


  • 1 1. I am thinking intensely
  • 2 2. My brain is overloaded
  • 3 3. I have a damaged brain
  • 4 4. I am interested
  • 5 5. I am excited…
  • 6 6. I don't want to see that
  • 7 7. Am I liberal or conservative?
  • 8 8. I have pain
  • 9 9. I'm high
  • 10 10. Your personality

1. I am thinking intensely

If we ask you who was the founder of psychoanalysis and we look you in the eye, we will not find a big change in the size of your pupils. The name of Sigmund Freud It seems to reach your mind easily and effortlessly. But if we ask you to tell us the names of the last ten presidents of your country, then surely we can see how your pupils expand.

According to an investigation, it has been seen that The harder your brain works, the more your pupils dilate. When the psychologists Hess and Polt (1964) carried out the study, they gave their participants tasks to complete more and more difficult, then they could observe that their pupils became also, increasingly larger and larger.

2. My brain is overloaded

Another study by Gary K. Poock on The treatment of information vs pupillary diameter (1973) reported that when the minds of the participants were overloaded with information, the pupils of the subjects increased to 125% of their normal size. This study links a bit with the previous one, because in both cases the brain is working at high performance, well above usual.

3. I have a damaged brain

The reason why doctors use a light to observe patients' eyes is to check that their brains are functioning normally (and because it is a really easy test to do).

Pupillary reactivity to light indicates the state of the central nerve pathways, and we must look for the existence or not of anisocoria (when the pupils are of different size) since the pupillary size of the eye will give us information about the type of pathology. In general, anisocoria are a reflection of structural lesions (tumors, AVC, trauma, ...) while systemic pathologies of toxic or metabolic origin are usually isocoric (pupils of equal size).

Other pupil conditions are:

Myotic Pupils: For excess of light, eye drops (ex: pilocarpine), poisoning (opiatesorganophosphates barbiturates), some neurological disorders (eg, central neurological lesions).

Mydriatic pupils: Low light, with emotions (sympathetic discharge), eye drops (eg atropine), drugs with atropine effect (anticholinergics, antidepressants, ...), drugs (amphetamines, cocaine, designer drugs), increased ICP (intracranial pressure) , head trauma and coma.

Interesting note: As a drug dependence teacher told us, "drugs that are consumed at night, such as cocaine and amphetamines, usually cause mydriasis, and other drugs, such as heroinmyosis; yes the cocaine it was miotic, people wouldn't see anything in the clubs, right? "

4. I am interested

The size of my pupils can also indicate if I am interested in what you are saying. Blanco and Maltzman (1977) made the participants of their study listen to fragments of three books: one was erotic, another about aggressions, while a third was neutral.

His pupils widened initially for all three. But they only remained dilated for passages that were of aggression or eroticism.

So that, your pupils usually dilate before something new, but only a little at the beginning, and will only remain dilated if you continue interested in it.

5. I am excited ...

Both men and women the pupils expand when they are sexually excited. However, not everyone agrees that dilated pupils are a sign of sexual arousal. Tests have been done showing nude photos of people and some researchers argue that what we are really interested in is the naked body of others.

6. I don't want to see that

Just as your pupils increase in size when you are interested or focused on something, too They contract when you are upset or disturbed.

In a study Hess (1972) showed images of injured children to the participants of their research. People's pupils first dilated because of the commotion, but then they contracted to try to avoid disturbing images and emotional shock that made them see them.

7. Am I liberal or conservative?

Would you be able to find out what my political inclination is with just my look? Apparently yes. You might be able to find out if I am a liberal or a conservative by observing the size of my pupil.

Barlow (1969) showed images of people from the liberal party to students with liberal political inclinations, and could see that they dilated when they saw these photographs, but they contracted when they saw photos of conservative politicians. The conservatives showed the identical pattern, but opposite, of course.

8. I have pain

Apparently pain also causes some pupil dilation. In their study, Chapman et al. (1999) fired small electric shocks on the fingers of the people who were part of their study, and the amount of dilated pupils was measured. With maximum discharge intensity, the pupils their pupils dilated approximately 0.2 mm. so, pain causes us some pupillary dilation.

9. I'm high

Some drugs, like Alcohol and opioids cause the pupils to contract. Others, such as amphetamines, cocaine, LSD and mescaline cause them to dilate.

Police officers know it and some use it as a way to check if someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They usually look for pupils measuring about 3 mm, but dilated can reach more than 6.5 mm (Richman et al. 2004).

10. Your personality

This point is not strictly related to pupil dilation, but with the iris of the eye. If you look closely at the iris, you can get some clues as to someone's personality (Larsson et al., 2007).

Iridiology is the science that studies man through the iris, a holistic way of understanding the human being who speaks to us both of his spiritual path and of his genetic patterns. Nothing in the iris is randomly arranged; On the contrary, the eyes reveal great information about their owners through the colors, shapes and patterns they contain.

For iridiologists, through the iris it is possible to observe how the person relates to the world, how he expresses himself, how he learns and what kind of companies attract him. Likewise, the iris shows the pattern of the genetic transfer of physical traits and behaviors from generation to generation, with which it is possible to understand the specific traits and abilities that a child has received from his father and mother.

For Harry Wolf, president of the International Association of Iriodiology “Through the human iris, the nature of diseases and the genetic, physical and psychological project of a person, their connection with the Universe is understood" Hence, according to Wolf, observing the iris we can help the human being to be the architect of his own healing and also know what is the cerebral hemisphere that predominates in each of us and what are the most prominent features of our personality.

Thus, individuals with more crypts in the iris - the wavy filaments that radiate from the pupil - tend to be more honest and sensitive, in addition to experiencing more positive emotions. It is the conclusion reached by Mats Larsson, from the University of Orebro (Sweden), after comparing the thickness and density of the iris of half a thousand subjects. His studies also revealed that concentric folds around the iris are more abundant in impulsive and nervous people. The key to this association between iris and personality resides in the gene Pax6, which is involved in the growth of eye tissue, but also in the development of an area of ​​the brain known as the anterior ungulated cortex that regulates mood and where self-control resides.

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