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Richard Cook at University College London and colleagues asked 45 adults to play rounds of the game with either one or both players blindfolded. There were significantly more draws when one player was sighted, but when someone did win, it was more often a blindfolded player than a sighted one.

Cook found that sighted players often gestured around 200 milliseconds after the blindfolded opponent, and suggests this reflects an automatic urge to imitate others.

Peter Enticott, a psychologist at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, says this type of imitation is “beyond our control” and shows we are “rapidly influenced” by those around us.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1024