Blink Inhibition and Entrainment
26.544, Saturday, May 11, 2:45 - 6:45 pm, Vista Ballroom
Jack Dahlin1, Emily Bach2, Flip Phillips2; 1Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, 2Skidmore College, Neuroscience & Psychology
From a physiological viewpoint, blinking is used to keep objects out of the eye and to hydrate the eyes. When blinking occurs the visual cortex and the prefrontal and parietal cortices show a decrease in activity for approximately 400 ms. Recent research shows that, due to this loss of visual information, participants may search for appropriate moments to blink or entrain their blinks. Furthermore, this research shows that participants, while watching videos, also inhibited their blinks within the video. A similar study also shows that people will look for a common point in which to blink, or an entrainment point. In this work we test blink entrainment between the eyes of an actor in a video and that of the participant. Subjects watched a close up video with variable story lines, with audio, video, or audio and visual components. We hypothesized that blink entrainment would be highest during the audio-visual stimuli and in stimuli that had the steadiest blink tempo. We found blink entrainment to increase across the three conditions (audio, visual, and audio visual) with entrainment being highest in the audio visual condition with a entrainment of Qt of .5. In addition, participants were near even to slightly lagging to the videos blinks with the most lag in the audio visual section with a qt of .01. In addition we found hints of blink entrainment in non blink events such as those in the Heider Simmel Test. Viewers presented with audio and visual conditions will entrain their blinks more highly and the entrainment lags in the conditions suggest deeper cognitive processes.