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Fast eye movements indicate impatience in people, study implies

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How can you tell if a person has patience? Look at how fast they move their eyes.

Researchers at The John Hopkins University found people with fast eye movements seemed to have less patience compared to people with slower eye movements. They were investigating why some individuals will wait while others are impatient, such as standing in line waiting to cash out items in a store. The findings were published on Jan. 21 in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The scientists assert the concept of time may be connected to a trait in the brain which appears be different in people. This trait can be associated with how individuals evaluate the passage of time in regards to the reward system. Understanding how the brain evaluates the passage of time when making decisions may give insight to the brain’s malfunction in certain individuals with neurological disorders such as brain injuries and schizophrenia.

People with these types of neurological disorders appear to have a more difficult time in making decisions. Controlling one’s movements, including eye movements, is considered a decision-making behavior (i.e., people decide to glance away or walk away from a long line).

The study was conducted in a controlled environment so before concluding a person has an impatient problem by their darting eye movements, be aware that stimulants such as caffeinated products can adversely affect a person’s behavior.

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