Eye movements are well known in neuro-linguistic programming abbreviated NLP, a system developed to help induce behavioural changes and improve communication between colleagues as well as to retrain thinking in business. It was developed in the 1970s by two researches in California, Richard Bandler and John Grinder who noted that the predominant research into human behaviour focused on problems rather than on solutions. NLP rather, focuses on the behaviour of successful people and is thought that by copying them, others too, can be successful. “Neuro” refers to the fives senses (hearing, touch, smell, sight, taste) “Linguistic” refers to the use of language to order thought and behaviour and “Programming” reflects the way ideas and thought are organized into actions. NLP is driven by defining positive outcomes, understanding how other’s perceive particular circumstances, and in identifying the roots by which thoughts affect images, sound or feelings.
It was discovered through experiment that eye movement is related to that part of the brain people where accessing. It began when researches noticed that the brain processed different information in different hemispheres. It was found that right handed people tended to shift their heads and eyes to the right during “left hemisphere” tasks such as logical and verbal processing and left handed people had entirely opposite patterns.
A typical left-handed person would have the opposite meanings for their eye-directions. Therefore, people tended to look to the opposite sides of the brains for the answers. Eye movements in this way, is one of the most well known but also the most controversial discoveries of NLP. It might also be one of the most valuable. The researches attached electrodes to subjects to track eye movement and brain wave characteristics. They were then asked questions related to sight, hearing or feeling tasks that involved memory or right brain processing and mental construction or left brain processing. Eye movement was shown to be related to how people process information. For example, upward eye movements reflected visual processing, lateral eye movements reflected auditory processing and downward movements reflected either kinesthetic (touch) or an inner thought or feeling.