Is there a formula to 'blinking'...and why do we blink anyway ?

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Offline neilep

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Dear Ocular Eyeologists,

See these eyes?

[attachment=1609]         [attachment=1610]

[attachment=1612]         [attachment=1613]

Nice eh ?..notice how visual and blinky they are ?

A few blinking  questions !!

Why do we blink ?

The reason behind why we blink I presume is due to a biological process...Does this process have a specific set of time intervals ? other words, can blinking be predicted as to when it will occur ?

Is it true that one gender blinks less than the other ?....why ?

Regarding the gender question above...does this also apply to other animals ?

Eye just can't wait for ewe to answer !!  *groan*

Men are the same as women, just inside out !


Offline Carol-A

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Blinking keeps the surface of the eye moist, and it sweeps dust and stuff off the surface. Tears contain an enzyme which helps to kill bacteria too. You blink more frequently when it is very dry, or dusty, so I guess that blinking is in response to environmental stimuli as well as internal ones. I can't imagine why one sex would blink more than the other. Cats blink.... but it does seem less often than people.



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I suspect the difference between the sexes is more to do with social communication than biological need.  One tends to blink less when one is concentrating on something, so that to blink is to indicate that one has taken one's concentration away from the thing one is looking at, so blinking is seen as non-aggressive behaviour.


Offline Karen W.

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That is what I had always heard too George! And the same for moisturizing the eyes Carol... WOW I have nothing to sat.. except great eyes there Neily! Nice assortment!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."


Offline adwkiwi

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I've seen mention that we blink about 15-20 times per minute when relaxed and nothing in particular is encouraging more of less blinking. Weirdly, you apparently only need to blink 2-4 times per minute to keep the eye moist so most blinks are unnecessary at that level.

Blink frequency seems to alter with task, so it seems to be most psychological processes driving it. This suggests that there's no particular formula, and that eye blinking patterns emerge in real time from the coupling of task constraints and the underlying physiology.