The context of sport provides a fantastic forum in which to study nonverbal communication. This image of Malcolm Butler captured a fraction of a second after his game-winning interception is no exception. It shows the hero of Super Bowl XLIX with his eyelids opened more widely than baseline - particularly his left eye. This is either due to the emotion of surprise or more likely - a surge of adrenaline (Epinephrine). If this photo were of high enough resolution, we would also see his pupils dilated.
Can you name the other emotional states which cause the eyelids to open more widely?
The most information dense areas of the body with regards to nonverbal communication are the eyes. They display dramatic emotional differences with ever so subtle changes. Humans are the only primates where the sclera ("whites of the eyes") are significantly lighter than the iris (colored portion of the eye surrounding the pupil, e.g. brown, blue, green, hazel, etc.). Evolutionary biologists theorized this contrasting of color aides in allowing just such body language subtlety to be transmitted in conjunction with slight and dynamic variations of the eyelids opening, closing, tightening, etc.
Pay constant and close attention to very slight changes in others' eyelids. You will then begin to notice great detail to which you were once were oblivious.
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