‘Astonishing’: There’s Another Kind of Eye Movement that No One Knew About

It happens all the time, but you’d never notice it.

Scientists have discovered a new automatic eye movement, according to the American Optometric Association.

A team from the University of Tubingen (Germany) describes “a specific eye movement synchronized with blinking that helps the eye reset after twisting to view a rotating object,” the association reports on its website.

The movement “helps reduce eye strain as viewers assess their often dynamic environments.”

Lead author Mohammad Farhan Khazali said: "To discover such a ubiquitous phenomenon in such a well-studied part of the human body was astonishing to us, and we're very grateful to the volunteers who took part in the study."

The research on "blink-associated resetting movement" was published in eLife, a biomedical journal.

A press release posted at eLife explains: “The movement they discovered helps to reset the eye after it twists when viewing a rotating object. It is like avoiding tiny rotations of a camera to stabilise the image we perceive. We don't notice the eye resetting in this way because it happens automatically when we blink.”

Read more from the American Optometric Association | Read the press release