The eye modes are widely used in kinesiology to find information about the type of thought processes the client uses, or has used in a particular situation.
Our brains use three primary modes of information to perceive and conceptualise the world around us: Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Based on observations by Bandler and Grinder, when people look up, they're visualising. When they look horizontally to the left and right, they're either remembering or constructing sounds. When they look downward and to their right (our left), they're accessing their feelings, and when they look downward and to their left (our right), they're talking to themselves (Auditory Digital). Typically, every time we access our brain, we move our eyes in that particular direction which facilitates our using that part of our neurology. The mind and body are absolutely interconnected, so each time we access our visual memory, for example, we move our eyes upward and to the left. (If you're watching someone access visual memory you will see them move their eyes upward and to your right).
People commonly rely on their favoured mode to make Internal Representations (I/Rs) about the world around them and the things they perceive. Internally, we also generally come to depend on one representational system or modality more than another as we access mental or emotional information (e.g. memory, or new ideas), and also use that information to create I/R's. So some people are using their visual representational system more, some people use their auditory representational system more, and some people use their kinaesthetic more than the others.
Usually an individual will prefer to use a certain modality or will use primarily a certain modality as their primary representational system. Let's go through, the three major modes of operation so you can notice what mode people are operating in, and begin to identify them. You can then begin to match the modes by using the predicates and physiology that match their representational system.
Typically, people who are in a visual mode stand, or sit, with their heads and/or bodies erect with their eyes up, and will be breathing from the top of their lungs. They often sit forward in the chair or on the edge of the chair. They tend to be more organised, neat, well-groomed and orderly. More deliberate, more appearance-oriented, and sometimes quieter. Good spellers. Memorise by seeing pictures, and are less distracted by noise. Often have trouble remembering verbal instructions, and are bored by long verbal explanations because their minds tend to wander. They would rather read than be read to. A visual person will be interested in how someone looks at them, and will respond to being taken places, and being bought things. They will tend to use words and phrases like: ‘See ya later’, ‘I want to look at it’, ‘focus on it’, ‘watch it’, ‘be clear’, ‘foggy’, ‘picture that’, ‘notice’, or ‘appears’.
Someone who is auditory will move their eyes sideways and also down to the right. They breathe from the middle of the chest. They typically talk to themselves, and are easily distracted by noise. They often move their lips when they say words. They can repeat things back to you easily. They may find math and writing more difficult and spoken language easier. They like music and learn by listening. They memorise by steps, procedures, and sequence. An auditory person is often interested in being told how they're doing, and responds to a certain set of words or tone of voice. They tend to use words and phrases like: ‘listen’, ‘talk to’, ‘said’, ‘speak’, ‘hear’, ‘sounds like’, or ‘good to talk to you’.
They will typically be breathing from the bottom of their lungs, so you'll see their stomach go in and out as they breathe. Their posture is often more slumped over, and they often move and talk very slowly. They will typically access their feelings and emotions to "get a feel" for what they're doing. They respond to physical rewards, and touching. They also stand close to people and touch them. They are often physically oriented people (athletes). They may move a lot, and they memorise by
Memory – Logic and Gestalt function
When asked a question, the direction the person moves his or her eyes can often also indicate whether the answer is from memory or not. A person will typically look to the left if reaching into memory and to the right if creating the answer or constructing imaged images.
Left Brain = Logic
Generally, the left side of the brain processes information in a more logical, detailed, step-by-step way. It breaks things into parts and solves problems using data from previous experience. So when remembering, people are more likely to look towards the left side of the brain.
Right Brain = Gestalt
The right brain, on the other hand, functions in a ‘Gestalt’ fashion. This means it looks at the whole picture and processes things in a conceptual or symbolic way. Typically it solves problems with a creative approach, using imagination. So people look to the right more when constructing new images or ideas in their mind.
Although most people follow this left-right rule, there are some who are just the opposite. It is good to determine which is which before jumping to conclusions. You can find out the correct directions of a person by asking some leading questions like "What was the colour of your first car?" to get a response from memory, and "What is your opinion of the Prime Minister?" to get a creative response.
The combination of the three styles with the left/right pattern of logic and gestalt processing gives us six eye modes that suggest the specific type of processing being used when looking in a particular direction. The chart below is for a "normal" right-handed person. Many left-handed people and some ambidextrous people will have eye movements that are reversed.
For further information see the article Three Primary Modes of Processing in the Background Readings