In The Space Of A Blink

blinkHunter gatherers are known for doing just that, hunting and gathering. No surprise there but we modern folk like to think we’re above that sort of thing now, don’t we? After all, we’re intelligent. We raise food so we don’t have to hunt it. We create farms and grow food so we don’t have to gather it. We do our hunting and gathering at the local grocery and it’s not so nasty and brutish as the caveman.

Still, evolutionary habits die hard and hunter gatherers were gathering more than wild berries and nuts. They gathered information as well and, as it turns out, not much has changed in that arena.

Dr. Tamami Nakano of Todai (Tokyo Daigaku or Tokyo University) recently completed some research indicating that humans subconciously time their blinking. Why? Because we don’t want to miss some vital bit of information. These days, that vital information may only be what happens next during the movie. A hundred thousand years ago, that vital information may have been the sudden movement of a predator or prey. In other words, early human survival depended on the information the eyes gathered, so no blinking during the important parts.

The Anglophile in me gets a little giggle when I read what they used as a test to see how people blink in response to things happening before their eyes. They used Mr. Bean videos.

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