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Last Updated: Monday July 25 2005 19:22 GMT

Blinking switches off your brain

Girl having her eyes examined.
Scientists have discovered that blinking stops part of your brain thinking.

Sections of your brain are temporarily "switched off" when we blink, experts revealed on Monday.

Researchers found that the brain shuts down the part used to process what we see for every blink.

The boffins at University College London said this could explain why people don't notice their own blinking, even though we blink 15 times a minute.

People blink to keep the surface of their eye moist. The study used a specially-designed device to study the effects of blinking on the brain.

Blinking facts
Most people blink around 15 times a minute
A blink lasts on average 100-150 milliseconds
We spend at least nine days per year blinking
Spokeswoman Davina Bristow said it seemed that the brain stopped working to give unbroken sight.

She said: "We would immediately notice if the outside world suddenly went dark, especially if it was happening every few seconds.

"But we are rarely aware of our blinks, even though they cause a similar reduction in the amount of light entering the eye, and this gives us an uninterrupted view of the world."

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