The Chinese Have Faster Eye Movement: Find Out Why
Debunking the belief that the eye movement patterns you develop are due to where you live - the books you read and the influence of your family, peers and community - your culture
London, April 8: Ever wondered how quickly Chinese people move their eyes? It has nothing to do with the neurological behaviour or culture in people of Chinese origin.
According to researchers from University of Liverpool, in terms of eye movement patterns, Chinese ethnicity is more of a factor than culture.
"Many scientists believe that the eye movement patterns you develop are due to where you live - the books you read and the influence of your family, peers and community - your culture,” said neurophysiologist Paul Knox from Liverpool University's institute of ageing and chronic disease.
“Our research has shown that this cannot be the case. What this leaves is the way we are made, perhaps our genetics,” Knox added.
This may have a bearing on the way the brains in different groups react to injuries and disease.
To reach this conclusion, scientists tested three groups - students from China, British people with Chinese parents and white British people - to see how quickly their eyes reacted to dots appearing in the periphery of their vision.
These rapid eye movements, known as saccades, were timed in all of the participants to see which of them were capable of making high numbers of express saccades - particularly fast responses which begin a 10th of a second after a target appears.
The findings revealed that similar numbers of the British Chinese and Chinese participants made high numbers express saccades, with the white British participants making far fewer.
Culturally, the British Chinese participants were similar to their white British counterparts and different to the mainland Chinese students.
“This is contrary to several previous reports that looked at behaviour in Asian and white participants and concluded that culture explained behavioural differences between groups,” Knox emphasised.
Twenty-seven percent of Chinese participants responded with high proportions of express saccades, similar to 22 percent of the British Chinese but many more than the 10 percent of white British participants.
Examining saccades from different populations is revealing a lot about underlying brain mechanisms and how we think, he noted in a study published in the journal PloS One.
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18 Jun 2019 10:41 AM GMT