Blink Activity and Task Difficulty

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This study investigated the relationship between task difficulty and blink activity, which includes blink rate, blink amplitude, and blink duration. Two kinds of tasks established two levels of difficulty. In Exp. 1, a mental arithmetic task was used to examine the relationship. Analysis showed that blink rate for a difficult task was significantly higher than that for an easier one. In Exp. 2, a letter-search task (hiragana Japanese alphabet) was used while the other conditions were the same as those in Exp. 1; however, the results of this experiment were not influenced by the difficulty of the task. As results indicate that blink rate is related to not only difficulty but also the nature of the task, the nature of the task is probably dependent on a mechanism in information processing. The results for blink amplitude and blink duration showed no systematic change during either experiment.

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