Sangeetha Pulapaka

This is because of not blinking. In reality, the proverbial "blink of an eye" lasts only a tenth of a second, but that's all the time needed to clear away dust particles and spread lubricating fluids across the eyeball. Every time you blink, your eyelids spread a cocktail of oils and mucous secretions across the surface of the eye to keep your globes from drying out. Blinking also keeps eyes safe from potentially damaging stimuli, such as bright lights and foreign bodies like dust.

So why don't you notice the world plunging into darkness every two to ten seconds? Scientists have found that the human brain has a talent for ignoring the momentary blackout. The very act of blinking suppresses activity in several areas of the brain responsible for detecting environmental changes, so that you experience the world as continuous.

According to researchers, blinking occurs at ‘breakpoints’ where attention or conscious processing can be relinquished and revived later. This includes full-stops while reading text or pauses while listening. However, blinking doesn’t just occur at explicit breakpoints, but also at ‘implicit’ breakpoints that one encounters in videos. These are points where the brain suppresses attention when it knows that the most relevant events are the most unlikely to occur, such as when the protagonist exits the scene.

To prove this, they tested 10 individuals by making them watch episodes of Mr. Bean while being scanned by an MRI scanner. The images allowed them to measure the degree of activity of every subject’s cortex when he or she blinked while watching the videos.