A group of scientists just found out that blinking suppressed brain activity in the visual cortex and other areas of the brain. Brain activity is usually activated when people become conscious of visual events or objects in the outside world.
In connection with this, I have also observed that people blink their eyes more rapidly when trying to analyze a problem, like solving an algebraic equation, or simply recalling a past memory. I wonder what happens to the brain during moments like this. Is eye-blinking also a manifestation of "re-booting," much like what happens when you push the reset button on your personal computer?Parts of the brain are temporarily "switched off" when we blink, scientists have found.
The team from University College London found the brain shut down parts of the visual system for each blink.
Writing in Current Biology, they said this was the case even if light was still entering the eyes.
The researchers said this could explain why people do not notice their own blinking, as it gave us an "uninterrupted view of the world".
A blink lasts for between 100 and 150 milliseconds. We automatically blink 10 to 15 times a minute to moisten and oxygenate the cornea.
During a blink, there is no visual input and no light, but we do not consciously recognise everything has momentarily gone dark.
[ BBC News Health, Jul 25 2005 ]
I hope more studies on eye-blinking are done especially on how it relates to the thinking process.