Factoid: Do You Close Your Eyes in the Dark?


Martin Wiesmann and colleagues found that when participants (of brain related experiments) closed their eyes in the dark, brain areas related to vision, touch, hearing, balance, smell and taste were all activated relative to when they lay in the dark with their eyes open. By contrast, lying in the dark with their eyes open, activated participants’ brain areas related to attention and eye movement.

The researchers said the findings point to the there being two kinds of mental activity: “…with the eyes closed, an ‘interoceptive’ state characterised by imagination and multisensory activity, in contrast to an ‘exteroceptive’ state, with the eyes open, characterised by attention and oculomotor activity”.

I wonder how sleep apnea specialists relate these findings to their studies. Do you close your eyes in the dark?

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.