Everybody has to blink, but while we watch movies, we apparently subconsciously time our blinks so that we don't miss any of the action. In fact, we even tend to blink in unison when watching a film in the theater, researchers say.
The flow of visual information to the brain is halted by up to 450
milliseconds with every blink, and we lose up to 6 seconds of
information every minute, says Tamani Nakano at the University of Tokyo in Japan. This means moviegoers who sit through a 150-minute film have their eyes shut for up to 15 minutes.
The researchers found that between 23% and 31% of blinks were synchronized during their study - a group of people watching a silent movie. So for some of the time, individuals will blink in unison while watching the same film.
"This is the first study to demonstrate that blinks are excellently coordinated during video playback," says Nakano.
The synchronized blinks occurred at "non-critical" points during the silent movie. "We all commonly find implicit breaks for blinking while viewing a video story," Nakano says.
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