Emerging research suggests our DNA influences the ability to read a person’s thoughts and emotions from looking at their eyes. And it appears that genetic capability is prevalent among women but not men.
[Twenty years ago, a team of scientists at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.] discovered that people can rapidly interpret what another person is thinking or feeling from looking at their eyes alone. It also showed that some of us are better at this than others, and that women on average score better on this test than men.
Now, the same team…report results from a new study of performance on this test in 89,000 people across the world.
The new study confirmed that genes influence performance on the Eyes Test. Investigators also discovered that in women, key genetic variants on chromosome 3 are associated with their ability to “read the mind in the eyes”.
The team found that genetic variants that contribute to higher scores on the Eyes Test also increase the risk for anorexia, but not autism. They speculate that this may be because autism involves both social and non-social traits, and this test only measures a social trait.
[Read the full study here]
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