photo credit Maxim Lubimov
My inspiration for Jon's therapy technique of staring silently into his clients' eyes came from the 2011 experiment, "Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze" conducted in coordination between Cornell University and the Laboratoria Art and Science Space, Moscow. This experiment directly explored Tuning In's theme of connected human consciousness as volunteers sat facing one another while having their brain waves measured. Cognitive neuroscientist Suzanne Dikker found "...synchronicty in Alpha waves at right posterior sensors..."
Dikker points out that this synchronicity may simply be a result of something mundane, like subjects being in tune with each other’s blinking rates. After all, Alpha waves are associated with concentration and focus and the right posterior sensors best detect brain activity associated with visual processes. Still, she continues to explore connectivity between brains and what in the physical world might mediate that connectivity.
The 2011 experiment re-staged in a formal setting performance artist Marina Abramovic's 2010 piece, "The Artist is Present." The piece ran for three months in New York City's Museum of Modern Art and involved 1,500 participants sitting one at a time in silence across from Abramovic, gazing into her eyes.
Abramovic describes her experience.