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New Research Offers Clues As To Why We Blink

why do we blink
Matt Cardy, Getty Images

Did you know that we spend 10 per cent of our waking hours with our eyes shut? We do it without even thinking. It’s called blinking. There is a popular theory that suggests that we blink to keep our eyes properly lubricated but new research seems to indicate that that idea may be incorrect. So why then do we blink? Find out after the jump.

Most people blink between 15 and 20 times a minute, but why? New research from Osaka University in Japan suggests that the brain uses that little minute of shut eye as a log off. Researchers watched scans that monitor the ebb and flow of blood in the brain and noticed that during an eye blink, regions of the brain used to pay attention seem to go momentarily off-line. This new research will be published this week in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academies of Science‘.

Think of your next blink as a mini nap for your brain! Do you feel refreshed? No…I don’t either, but I’ve always wondered why we blink, and now I know why.

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