If you're looking out of the window of a moving train and at things as they go by (rather than a single object that you're leaving behind), your eyes appear to be flickering. There's a specific term for this.. which I can't remember!

  • It's more like a blur than a flicker, isn't it? Don't your eyes just blink from staring so hard? ;) – Jimi Oke Jan 21 '11 at 13:03

Saccades, I believe. You can also have 'micro-saccades' which are what the eye does to maintain a constant image; you'd be blind otherwise.

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    The whole subject of the eye is fascinating. You know how when you notice a bad smell, after a while it fades away? That's because of a thing called neuron fatigue. The neurons detecting the smell register change, so if something stays the same they stop firing. It's the same with vision. If your eyes didn't constantly move (micro-saccades), the neurons would stop registering and you'd go blind. They've tested it by paralysing the eye muscles. – user3444 Jan 21 '11 at 14:13
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    Saccades are important for understanding scanpaths in eye-tracking studies, a technique widely used in human-computer interaction research and increasingly in commercial user experience evaluations (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_tracking#History) – Antony Quinn Jan 21 '11 at 16:40

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