Goosebumps and blinking...why?


Have you ever found yourself wondering why our bodies do the things we do? Like why we get goosebumps when we are cold our scared or excited. These are the things that keep me guessing so I had to blog on them. When we get Goosebumps according to an article in the Huffington Post, what happens is, the muscles at the base of the hair contract which makes them stand straight up. So if we know what happens when we get goosebumps, what causes them? In an article in Scientific American it stated "Goosebumps are a physiological phenomenon inherited from our animal ancestors, which was useful to them but are not of much help to us." It has been shown that these bumps are linked to when animals experience fear. Similarly when a cat feels threatened it hunches its back its hair stands up. With all this goose bump information what else is weird or different that we do? If you were thinking, blinking, then you were right!

Why do we blink? How often do we blink? In an NBC news article Dr. John Stern states that we blink to cleans and moisten the Cornea. However he noticed that we blink more often than needed to simply clean the cornea. He made the connection that when we blink; it is like using a period in real life. It acts as a break in our train of thought. To put it in better terms if your life was a paper, each time you blink it would be acting as a comma or period. Even more interesting each blink is different! It is truly astonishing the way human body works. 


Auriculares muscle movement, like goosebumps, is a trait inherited from our ancestors. Everyone gets goosebumps because everyone experiences feelings of excitement and fear, but not everyone can move their auriculares muscles. These muscles surround the outer ear and allow the ear to move. It's now a trait which can be used for entertainment because many people cannot wiggle their ears. Way back in cavemen times, humans needed to move their ears to pinpoint noises to be better hunters and be more aware of their surroundings. Then it was an extremely important trait to have, but once humans started traveling in groups, sight became the main sense. I am honored to say I am part of the dwindling 15% of humans who can still wiggle their ears today. What other traits have we inherited that are useless in today's world?

I recently listened to a podcast by Radiolab, exploring the 'why we blink' question.Infact they also talked about Dr. John Stern's theory that you mention. I feel that you may have left out, one of rthe coolest implications of his theory. As discussed in the podcast, if blinking does really act as a punctuation or comma aiding in memory storage then it follows that we often blink when there is less activity, that is, at the end of an action we are seeing so that we don't miss anything important when our eyes are closed, then our minds erase the memory of the darkness when you blinked so that it is not overt.

The cool implication is that it follows that if we are watching the same thing, e.g. a movie then alot of us would blink at the same time, at the same spot.
A study by Japanese researchers Tamami Nakano and Shigeru Kitazawa, found that if you watch the same movie many times, most of the time you will blink at the same points. And that when watching a movie, about a 1/3 of the audience blink at exactly the same time. I found that very interesting. Below is the link to the podcast:

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Everyone has heard of them as being the best car out there, mainly cause of gas prices. Hybrids are sweeping…
People everywhere are breaking up, just in time for the holidays. And the more couples I see parting ways, the…
Pregnancy Tests
While browsing Andrew's blog and looking to see all of the posts that I missed (I'm pretty sure I haven't…

Old Contributions