The Purpose of Blinking: More Than Just Keeping our Eyes Moist

When we blink our eyes, we are helping our brain to visualize big patterns. Each time we close our eyes briefly, about 15-20 times per minute while awake, we lubricate the eyes and remove dust and debris, preventing inflammation and injuries. This action also helps keep the eyes moist.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in upstate New York have quantified the amount of blinking that occurs, revealing that it takes up about eight percent of the time we are awake. The researchers found that rapid blinking changes the light patterns that reach the retina, sending different visual signals to the brain.

This process helps our brain process information more effectively, aiding in detecting patterns and changes that occur slowly. In fact, contrary to common belief, blinking enhances rather than interferes with visual perception. The brain acts as an image stabilizer, constantly adapting to the signals it receives to ensure our eyes point in the right direction. This mechanism is crucial for accurate vision processing.

Understanding the role of blinking in visual perception sheds light on its importance in our overall vision system. Research on this topic was published in the American Academy of Sciences magazine PNAS and highlighted on the New Atlas website.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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