Archive for the ‘Physiology’ Category

Brain Activity When Eyes Closed vs. Pitch Black

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Ok, now for something completely different.

I remember hearing or reading that a fair amount of “processing power” of the brain is used to make sense of the images we receive from our eyes.  Presumably, that doesn’t take place if we close our eyes.  Is that true?

Does it matter if we’re awake or asleep?

If we are wide awake with our eyes open, but in a completely pitch black environment (for example, in a room with no windows or open doors, no light seeping into the room, etc.), then does the brain do any image analysis at all?  Or do the eyelids act as some sort of switch?

Would we use more brain power looking at a complex scene vs. a blank wall?  (i.e., would we be able to measure the difference in brain activity via some external means, some sort of brain sensor?)