Men and women literally look at the same thing differently, a new study has found.

Researchers say that men and women look at different things because they interpret the world differently. Early-life changes can direct brains of men and women to find different kind of cues in their environment.

Researchers examined where men and women preferred to look when shown pictures from film and art. They found that women tend to either look down or away from the object of interest than men while looking at images.

There was one similarity in the way that men and women looked at images of heterosexual couples; all looked at the woman in the picture. Researchers found that women tended to look at the woman in image more than the men.

And while men looked at mostly faces of the two figures in the image, women were more likely to look at the bodies of the figures in the images, especially of the woman.

Eye movement is used as a tool in many studies that try to assess how the people perceive things. The idea is that eyes bring in visual information to the brain and so eye movement can show what information is being processed in the brain through the visual stimuli.

The study included 52 men and women who looked at 80 different pictures.

"The study represents the most compelling evidence yet that, despite occupying the same world, the viewpoints of men and women can, at times, be very different. Our findings have important implications for both past and future eye movement research together with future technological applications," Felix Mercer Moss, PhD student in the Department of Computer Science who led the study.

Researchers say that women's high sensitivity to threat may explain some of the reasons that they make less eye contact with what that they are interested in. A face gives out a lot of information, but looking at the face directly may bring in trouble. Men, on the other hand, are primed to look for threat and so they keep direct eye-contact.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.