- Looking into someone’s left eye can help emotional bonding, Dr Tara Swart said
- It is statistically the most likely factor to create an ’emotional resonance loop’
If dating often feels like an unsolvable puzzle, you’re not alone.
But now one neurologist has revealed a key trick that could help you make a lasting connection with a potential lover — and it’s simple.
Look into their left eye.
Dr Tara Swart, a senior lecturer in behavioural sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, used an example of someone cradling their baby to explain her logic.
Speaking on The Diary of a CEO podcast, she told host Steven Bartlett: ‘Most people are right handed so they’ll be holding their baby in their left arm, so they can use their dominant hand to do stuff.
Dr Tara Swart (pictured), a senior lecturer in behavioural sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, used an example of someone cradling their baby to explain why looking into someone’s left eye could help you make a lasting connection
Speaking on The Diary of a CEO podcast, she told host Steven Bartlett (pictured): ‘Most people are right handed so they’ll be holding their baby in their left arm, so they can use their dominant hand to do stuff
‘That means when you gaze at your baby, your right eye is looking at their left and then that interaction from the optic nerve is going around the brain.
‘It’s impacting the amygdala, where emotions come from.
‘It’s creating this emotional resonance loop that’s part of how the mother and baby bond.’
Dr Swart, who is also an author, added: ‘So that right eye to left eye contact is the most bonding eye contact you can have with someone.
‘If I’m trying to build a bond with someone that’s the statistically most likely one to create good resonance between you.
‘Now you could say, oh, but my mum was left-handed or you could be left-handed.
‘But, if I’m taking a chance on trying to build that bond with someone, that’s the statistically most likely one to create good resonance between you.’
Responding to her explanation, podcast host Steven Bartlett labelled it ‘super interesting’, adding ‘so to everybody listening to this right now, whether they’re in work, they’re in sales, they’re looking for a partner, it’s a nice little trick to look into someone’s left eye’.
Asked if Dr Swart had walked into the studio and started looking into his left eye, she then said: ‘I waited till we sat down.
‘I gave you a hug, you gave me a hug.
‘We’ve laughed about a few things before we’ve come on air.
‘Those are the sorts of things that create higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin, so you’re more likely to lower your guard, trust the person, take a healthy risk.’
Often dubbed the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin helps regulate emotional responses and produced in the hypothalamus part of the brain and secreted into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland.
Studies have also shown oxytocin also may have anxiolytic properties, meaning it may help reduce anxiety.
Other tips to create stronger emotional bonds include ‘appropriate physical interaction’, such as handshakes, kisses or hugs, Dr Swart noted.
‘Depending on the appropriateness of it, a minimum handshake, maybe a hug, maybe a kiss on the cheek, depending on what situation you’re in,’ she said.
‘The more of that physical touch that you can get the better.’
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