The Brain “Sees” Objects That You Don’t Perceive
2013 11 15

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 it–the state of the carpet, the shadows on the ceiling–all gets ignored.

Or does it?

How much processing does the brain allocate to things you’re not consciously aware of? What does ‘it’ see that ‘you’ don’t? (Obviously ‘you’ are ‘it’, but let’s 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.

It’s 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 don’t usually take much notice of what’s 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




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »