The eyes test is influenced more by artistic inclination and less by sex

Paola Guariglia, Laura Piccardi, Flavio Giaimo, Sofia Alaimo, Giusy Miccichè, Gabriella Antonucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test was developed by Baron-Cohen and his coworkers. This test provides them the unique opportunity to evaluate social cognition assessing the ability to recognize the mental state of others using only the expressions around the eyes. In healthy populations, however, it has produced conflicting results, particularly regarding sex differences and number of items to use. In this study we performed two studies: The first one investigated the presence of gender effects and the sensitivity of test stimuli; the second one considered other individual factors (i.e., artistic attitude, social empathy and personality traits) that could influence the ability to understand emotions from gaze. Our results demonstrated a sex effect, which can be more or less attenuated by the nature of the stimuli. This could be as aforementioned the result of the following, empathy or artistic attitude in being proficient in understanding the mental states of others.

Original languageEnglish
Article number292
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2015


  • Artistic attitude
  • Emotions
  • Empathy
  • RMET
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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