Formula One race car drivers tend to blink at the same places in each lap
The world goes dark for about one-fifth of a second every time you blink, a fraction of an instant that’s hardly noticeable to most people. But for a Formula One race car driver traveling up to 354 kilometers per hour, that one-fifth means almost 20 meters of lost vision.
Considering how often people blink (up to 30 times every minute), a driver could lose as much as 595 meters — over a third of a mile — worth of visual information per minute due to blinking.
People are often thought to blink at random intervals, but researchers found that wasn’t the case for three Formula One drivers. Instead, the drivers tended to blink at the same parts of the course during each lap, cognitive neuroscientist Ryota Nishizono and colleagues report in the May 19 iScience.
Nishizono, of NTT Communication Science Laboratories in Atsugi, Japan, was inspired to study how humans process information during physical activity by his past as a professional racing cyclist.
He was surprised to find almost no literature on blinking behavior in active humans even though under…