New Study Shows Blinking Relaxes Brain Activity

New research from Japan suggests that blinking is an active process that causes the brain to go “off-line”, into a more reflective mode, before giving renewed attention. Tamami Nakano of Osaka University and colleagues write about their findings in the 24 December online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, PNAS.

In earlier work, where they had invited volunteers to watch Mr Bean videos, Nakano and colleagues discovered that people’s eyes blink when they need to pay less attention, for instance when the video cuts to a new scene.