How a 12-Year-Old Used Dungeons and Dragons to Help His Scientist Dad With His Research
Ever hear about the trick where a man stands on the sidewalk, silently staring up into the sky? Without fail, bystanders and passers-by will at least glance up, if not stare alongside him. Animals from humans to birds are prone to look where others are looking.
But why? Are we focused on following people’s faces or are we following their eyes? The brain has regions that support both ideas.
Alan Kingstone, of the University of British Columbia, asked his son Julian for help in figuring out which theory was correct. Julian’s idea? Use the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual, full of monsters with eyes on places other than their heads, to test people’s gaze.
The result? You’ll have to send your eyes over to Not Exactly Rocket Science to find out more. Oh, and congratulations to Julian for getting his work published in a Royal Society journal!! I feel pretty darn good about our young scientists :)
Yes or no: Coolest scientific application of D&D ever? I think the eyes have it.
(Folks, I’m aware that the monster above is from Pan’s Labyrinth, but it’s a story about tracking people’s gaze and how we follow eyes … get it?)