Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eye movement differs in British and Chinese populations

Date:
March 28, 2011
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists have found that eye movement patterns of Chinese people, born and raised in China, are different to those of Caucasian people living in Britain.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that eye movement patterns of Chinese people, born and raised in China, are different to those of Caucasian people living in Britain.

The team, working with Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, investigated eye movements in Chinese and British people to further understanding of the brain mechanisms that control them and how they compare between different human populations. They found that a type of eye movement, that is rare in British people, is much more common in Chinese people, suggesting that there could be subtle differences in brain function between different populations.

Tests of eye movements can be used to help identify signs of brain injury or disease, such as schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, in populations across the world. Research at Liverpool, however, has shown that within the Chinese population there are a high proportion of healthy people that exhibit a pattern of eye movements previously thought to be rare in the absence of injury or disease. Findings, published in the journal Experimental Brain Research, suggest that this pattern may not be as effective as a signal of altered brain function, in every global community, as originally thought.

Working in China and in Britain, the team tested fast eye movements, called saccades. Participants in the study were asked to respond to spots of light with their eyes as they appeared suddenly to the right or left of their line of sight. The reaction time of the eye movements was the key measure that differentiated between Chinese and non-Chinese groups.

Dr Paul Knox, from the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, explains: "In a person from any country in the world we would expect the reaction time of fast eye movements to be approximately a fifth of a second. Very rarely we find some people with eye movement reaction times that are much shorter than this, at around a tenth of a second. This, however, is usually assumed to be a sign of an underlying problem that makes it difficult to keep the eyes pointing where you would like for a long enough period.

"In our study, as we expected, 97% of British people had the common fifth of a second delay, and only 3% had the much faster response. In our Chinese group, however, 30% had the faster, less common response. Our participants were healthy, with normal vision, and yet the eye movement pattern previously thought to be rare, was relatively common in Chinese people.

"There could be a number of explanations for this and further investigation is needed to fully understand why populations differ. It could be that culture -- where we grow up, the education, work and social activities we are exposed to -- influence these particular biological responses even though our physical make-up is the same.

"The other possibility is that there are basic differences in brain structure and function that produce the kind of behaviour we identified. Maps of the brain were developed many years ago and were largely based on European populations. This became the blueprint for brain structure, but there could be differences between various populations."

Scientists are now investigating eye movement in Chinese people born and living in Britain compared to Chinese populations born in China but now living in Britain. The study aims to further understanding into the cultural effects on eye movement behaviour.

The research is funded by the Royal Society and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Eye movement differs in British and Chinese populations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324103133.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2011, March 28). Eye movement differs in British and Chinese populations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324103133.htm
University of Liverpool. "Eye movement differs in British and Chinese populations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324103133.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins