The Brain Sees Objects That You Dont Perceive
2013-11-15 0:00

By Jeremy Dean | PsyBlog



A new study shows how much visual input the brain processes, but we never consciously see.

Every day, when you open your eyes in the morning, there is a huge flood of visual information from the external world into your mind.

Your brain edits this flood down to a trickle of things that are highly relevant: Where is the dressing-gown? Where is the curtain? Where is the door?

The rest of itthe state of the carpet, the shadows on the ceilingall gets ignored.

Or does it?

How much processing does the brain allocate to things youre not consciously aware of? What does it see that you dont? (Obviously you are it, but lets not get into that!).

Fascinating new research, published in the journal Psychological Science, addresses this question.

Sanguinetti et al. (2013) had participants looking at the silhouettes of objects in the centre of a screen, while there were other shapes around the outside.

Its like the everyday situation where you are concentrating on something, but there are all kinds of other objects and shapes in your peripheral vision.
By monitoring their brainwaves, the researchers were able to determine whether participants were processing these peripheral objects.

People dont usually take much notice of whats going on in their peripheral vision because they are concentrating on what they are looking at.

The same was true in this study: participants were not consciously aware of the peripheral shapes.

And yet, the electrical activity they measured suggested that their brains were processing these peripheral shapes for meaning.

[...]

Read the full article at: spring.org.uk




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