By Arnold J Wilkins in The Conversation.
There’s a handy trick for reading station signs that otherwise fly past in a blur as you travel in a high-speed train. Look at one side of the window and then immediately at the other side of the window. When you change your gaze, your eyes will automatically make a rapid jerking movement, known as a saccade. If the direction of the saccade is the same as that of the train, your eyes will freeze the image for a split second, long enough to read the station name if you time things right.
Saccades are very fast movements of the eyes. Their exact speed depends on the size of the movement, but large saccades can move the eyes at the same rate as a high-speed train. The image of the station name becomes visible because it is travelling at the same speed as the eye, and the images before and after the saccade are blurred and so don’t interfere with the image of the sign. This shows us that our vision is still working when our eyes move rapidly during saccades.
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