The World According to Blink: Blinking and Aging

  • Frans Van der Werf
  • Albertine Ellen Smit
Part of the Aging Medicine book series (AGME)


In this chapter, the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological background of the blink circuit and the consequences of aging will be discussed. Eyelid and eye kinematics are described for healthy subjects and patients with facial movement disorders. Attention will be paid to the blink rate, which can be used as an external parameter of the condition of the blink circuit and of brain structures influencing the circuit in health and disease. Reflex blinks give important information and are excellent experimental models for the assessment of internal networks and nuclei. The reflex blink circuit is the most commonly used neuronal blink circuit model for the study of how relatively simple lid movements are controlled and generated by the central nervous system.


blink eyelids blink circuit facial movement disorders Bell's palsy 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frans Van der Werf
    • 1
  • Albertine Ellen Smit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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