The photic sneeze is nothing to sneeze at! Even our beloved deep-thinker, Aristotle, pondered this phenomenon: "Why does the heat of the sun provoke sneezing?" And this, my friends, is the question that I present today. Do we know why a large number of people experience the photic sneeze, a sneeze reflex when someone is rapidly bathed in bright lights (esp. when emerging from the dark)?
Is something happening in our occipital lobe, such as the trigeminal nerve, in which the body's wires are essentially crossed? In other words, can visual stimulation really be a catalyst for a sneeze?
Or is something else going on here? Is it a nervous, startled reaction from primal times that had some sort of benefit?
Or are there typically more particles in sunlight that can trigger sneezes?