I'm looking at an output of a single dry sensor EEG headband with the sensor positioned above left eye. As a side effect of it's placement, the device picks up eye blinks, and some eye motion as changes in the amplitude of the raw output waveform. It is clearly visible, and I can probably detect it algorithmically.

My question is - does frequency of eye blinking (not controlled) reveal anything about the state of (autonomous?) nervous system, or processes that take place within the brain? For example, what is the difference between blinking involuntary X times per minute versus Y times per minute for the same individual? Does blinking get suppressed in response to some stimuli, like loud noises, speech, etc?

I appreciate your input!


2 Answers 2


People avoid looking at what they don't like thinking about. A feared enemy, an individual whom you have something to hide from..

Avoidance of looking/excessive blinking is a sign of fear. It's basically a sign that the individual is not having a good time looking at what he is looking.

Sometimes people are lying and then they don't like looking at whom they are lying to... for them it would be nicer to look out the window or something that takes them away from their subject for a bit of time. I would expect blinking to increase when lying.

Personally I have noticed excessive durational closing of eyes (a second or so), exactly at the moment of stating their lie. Those are off course people who are honest to themselves but are trying to be dishonest to you. But some people lie to themselves as well and they may be more difficult to detect.


I have read that blinking is associated with the brain performing "default processing", which is needed to maintain attention properly. Here is the first thing that came up in a google search for "blink default processing": Blink-related momentary activation of the default mode network while viewing videos

I think that it is also related to the Alpha State, in that people blink much less while "entralled" in that state of awareness. Sometimes when I am driving and listening to music, I feel like I go in to that state, and not blink for a long time, so I remind myself to. Otherwise, all conscious-verbal thinking just runs down and stops, leaving me aware, but as if I was deeply meditating. It is fun.


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