The human brain works incredibly fast but visual impressions are so complex that their processing takes up to several hundred milliseconds before they enter our consciousness.
Researchers say they know why this delay may vary in length; if you already know what you are about to see, you recognize it faster.
When the brain possesses some prior information, such as when it already knows what it is about to see, conscious recognition occurs faster. There has been some debate about whether or not the processes leading up to conscious perception were more rigid and if their timing varied.
Wrestlers are taught to ignore an opponent's eyes and instead watch his waist - nothing much is happening that his waist won't be involved in whereas eyes can be misleading. That means wrestlers are conservatives, according to new research coming out in Attention, Perception&Psychophysics.
Progressives follow eye movements more than conservatives, the authors contend. That means that progressives (also, liberals, if you don't know what the word liberal means) and conservatives quite literally do not see the world in the same way. The researchers measured reaction to 'gaze cues' - the tendency to shift attention based on another person's eye movements. Essentially, they wanted to find out who looked more at what distracted someone else.
Scientists writing in Cognition have said that our ability to recognize and remember faces peaks at ages 30 to 34 - a decade later than most of our other mental abilities.
Some prior studies had suggested that face recognition might be slow to mature but fewer suspected that facial recognition might continue building for so many years into adulthood. The late-blooming nature of face recognition may simply be a case of practice making perfect.
Many of the films we love manage to put us in someone else’s shoes, whether it be the shoes of a social network tycoon or a zombie killer. After all, we don’t pay $15 to see on screen what we do all day. Writers and directors get us into the protagonist’s head in a variety of ways, including letting us hear his or her inner thoughts.
But a more direct route into the shoes of the protagonist is to make it appear as if the viewer is actually in the body of the protagonist.
Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain sees some faces as male when they appear in one area of a person's field of view, but female when they appear in a different location, a finding which challenges the longstanding tenet of neuroscience that how the brain sees an object should not depend on where the object is located relative to the observer.
In the real world, the brain's inconsistency in assigning gender to faces isn't noticeable because there are so many other clues, like hair and clothing, but when people view computer-generated faces, stripped of all other gender-identifying features, a pattern of biases based on location of the face emerges.
The eye is not just a lens that takes pictures and converts them into electrical signals, it is the first part of an elaborate system that leads to "seeing". As with all vertebrates, nerve cells in the human eye separate an image into different image channels once it has been projected onto the retina and pre-sorted information is then transmitted to the brain as parallel image sequences.
A man with an inherited form of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, has been able to identify a coffee mug and various shades of gray using a retina implant, according to work published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The Retina Implant AG is a sub-retinal chip placed in the central macular area behind the retina. Their chip works by converting light that enters the eye into electrical impulses which get fed into the optic nerve behind the eye. It requires an external battery which was connected to a cable that protruded from the skin behind the ear.
Boise State University's football team is smoking, and some have wondered whether their blue football field may help explain their success...so much so that, a couple months back, Oregon State painted their practice field blue to help them prepare for playing on it.
Could practicing and playing on blue really give the Broncos a leg up? It seems unlikely.
You’ve heard that space is curved – that’s gravity. You’ve also been told that you cannot really understand curved space. Sure, you can come to know curvy mathematics by studying general relativity or differential geometry, but you cannot grasp curved space in your bones…for the obvious reason that, in our everyday human-level world, space is flat, and so we have a brain for thinking flat.
Or, at least, that’s what they say.
But there is at least one variety of curvy mathematics that your brain comprehends so completely that you don’t even know you know it. It concerns your visual field, and your innate understanding of the directions from you to all the objects in your environment.
Here’s my vote for the best illusion ever. It was created by B. Pinna, G.J. Brelstaff / Vision Research 40 (2000) 2091–2096.
Loom your head toward, and away, from the center point. Print it out and bring to a bar, and it is even more impressive -- the paper appears to be twisting in your hands. Some other time I'll tell you my speculation for why it works. (It is a