Oculesics is the way eyes are used during a communication exchange. This may include eye contact or the avoidance of eye contact, but it may also include all other eye movements, such as looking onto other body parts of the other person. Occulesic movements are also frequently associated to kinesics movements. For example, regulators often rely on both a kinesics component, such as raising of an eyebrow, and an occulesic component, such as looking into the eye of the other person, to get a message across.
People from some cultures may lower their gaze to convey respect, whereas this may be understood as insulting in other cultures. Direct eye contact may be seen as insulting in some cultures or convey attention in others.
Eye contact and the amount and length of eye contact may be confusing. For example, many United States women feel insulted and embarrassed at being looked at for, in their view, a prolonged period by Italian and French men. Conversely, Italian and French females may perceive United States men as cold because of their relatively short eye contact with females.