Researchers have found that eye movement is a clue to learning discoveries, called epiphanies.

Soft SkillsThe pair of researchers from Ohio State University discovered how to predict when an epiphany, also described as an “aha moment” was likely to occur based on tracking eye movements

“We don’t see the epiphany in their choice of numbers, but we see it in their eyes,” said researcher James Wei Chen.

The eye movements of the subjects were tracked as they played a computer strategy game. There were modest incentives to win. The patterns of eye movements revealed the strategy evolving with each player, and predicted when an epiphany – the moment a player realized the game’s winning strategy – would occur.

“We could see our study participants figuring out the solution through their eye movements as they considered their options,” said Ian Krajbich, an assistant professor of psychology and economics at Ohio State. “We could predict they were about to have an epiphany before they even knew it was coming.”

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