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Why do our eyes widen in fear and narrow in disgust?

In a new paper, researchers have detailed why this happens, as well as why our eyes narrow when something disgusts us. The researchers, led by Prof. Adam Anderson suggest these opposite facial expressions are based on emotional responses that use the way our eyes gather and focus light to detect unidentified threats. When our eyes open wider – as they do in fear – the researchers say this increases sensitivity and expands our field of vision to identify surrounding danger. Alternatively, when our eyes narrow in disgust, this blocks light and sharpens focus to determine the source of our displeasure.

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