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Glossary » eye contact

eye contact

in conversations, people are aware of when people are looking into their eyes or not, and they use eye contact to signal turn-taking and attentiveness. In conventional videoconferencing systems, the camera is spatially offset from the monitor for viewing other people, and thus, when directly looking at another person, it appears that you are looking slightly away from them. It’s not clear how this may affect communication, because in most cases the conversational partner may be perfectly aware of the phenomenon and able to determine whether they are being looked at or not even without perfect eye contact. However, some monitors allow eye contact through the use of half-silvered mirrors, for instance, allowing the camera to be offset but still capture a direct angle.