Antanas Vaitkus1, Vaidotas Gudžiūnas1,2, Erlandas Paulėkas2, Gintarė Urniežiūtė2
1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Department of Neurology, Kaunas, Lithuania
2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania
There are three main types of blinks: reflex blinks, voluntary blinks and endogenous blinks. The focus of our research is on endogenous eye blinks, that present changes of attention and changes in thought processes. According to the literature, blink rate is reduced in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
The blink rate has not yet been properly standardised. There is a need to test the hypothesis that eye blink rate could depend on standardized attention level, it could be a leading factor, which determines the eye blink rate on standardized conditions. It is important to establish equal standardized eye blink rate on healthy subjects’ group, because it could be a simple diagnostic criterion for Parkinson’s disease. We have attempted to validate eye blink rate by using quantitative parameters of attention level. An exercise, concentration grid, was given to the participants to evaluate concentration. The Neurosky Mindwave® BCI (brain computed interface) single-channel dry-sensor recording device was used for recording a frontal lobe EEG, the data were recorded by using our developed software. The attention was categorized into five levels which were: 1-19 (very poor attention), 20-39 (poor attention), 40-59 (neutral), 60-79 (good attention) and 80-100 (great attention).
In this study we have examined 14 participants. The average age of all subjects is 23,4 ± 0,9 years. The average mean of attention during the examination was 56,6 ± 7,1. The duration of the task was 8,7 ± 2 minutes. General eye blink rate per minute was 4,5 ± 2,2. No significant differences of eye blink rate between different attention levels have been found.
Keywords: eye blink rate, blinking, electroencephalography, attention, Parkinson’s disease