Blinking Can Impact How We Process Visual Information, According To New Research

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Blinking is one of those things we do automatically. It’s not an action we have to think about or learn how to do.

We even spend three to eight percent of our waking hours blinking. The purpose of this natural reflex is to provide moisture to our eyes, keeping them lubricated and healthy. Blinking also shields our eyes from bright light sources and foreign bodies.

A new study has found that blinking has other benefits as well—it can affect how we process visual information.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York wanted to learn more about the bodily function of blinking.

They tracked eye movements in humans and combined that data with computer models and spectral analysis, which is a technique that estimates the power of a signal at various frequencies in visual stimuli.

They compared closed eyelids with how blinking affects vision, measuring how sensitive humans are at recognizing different types of stimuli.

The researchers discovered that when people blink, they become better at observing patterns with big, gradual changes.

So, that means blinking allows us to collect more information about what we’re looking at.

Blinking is a quick movement that alters light patterns. Compared to when our eyes are fixed unblinkingly on a specific point, blinking creates a more stimulating visual signal for our brains.

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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