Why do singers close their eyes? In this incredible rendition of Hozier's "Take Me To Church", we can see Demi Lovato demonstrate this nonverbal behavior throughout most of the song.
Ninety percent of our sensory input is visual. The senses of smell, taste, hearing and touch have to share the left-over ten percent. Moreover, forty percent of the entire mass of the human brain is dedicated to the visual system. So when we close our eyes, a bit less blood, oxygen, nutrients, neurological activity, etc. are channeled to our visual-brain and a bit more of these resources are directed to our other four senses - as well as our cognitive brain and emotional centers.
When we're kissing someone with who we have great affection, we close our eyes. This is not sexual - this is affectionate. It's because we want to drink-in every last drop of the emotion of that moment. Closing our eyes allows us to truly feel the kiss and its accompanying emotions more intensely. The same is true for when we're taste a favorite desert or a sip of wine - we close our eyes. When we smell a flower, the olfactory pleasure is deeper when we close our eyes. And even a sighted person with 20/20 visual acuity will increase their tactile sensitivity at a moment's notice - simply by closing their eyes.
And when a singer sings a song with intensity, they close their eyes because it's a multi-sensory experience. Besides hearing and controlling their own voice more fully and precisely - they feel their own body move and vibrate. This intensely emotional and energetic body language simultaneously facilitates what is a form of both method acting and biofeedback - up regulating their sensory experience and their ability to inject more energy and life into the moment - and go far beyond singing a song. Some would say this is even a form of self-hypnosis. It's difficult not to be pulled into Demi Lovato's emotions as we watch her and listen to her sing.
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