Monday, May 16, 2016

Didn't you SEE that?

The other day, on week two of her pay period when things are tighter, I asked my daughter if we were out of orange juice and she bristled. She does the shopping...and there was a full jug right on the shelf in the fridge. I never registered it.

I immediately thought, "Oh, no, here comes that dementia I have been fearing."

But no...researchers at Georgia Tech are making new discoveries about how the brain "leaves things out," even when those objects are plainly in sight.

The frontal cortex is our "thinking cap," they say. For a long time, this part of the brain was thought to not be involved in vision (taking the images transmitted by the retina of the eye and interpreting them).

Actually the thinking cap oversees the whole process.

Vision is not like a camera, they explain. The brain isn't just "seeing," it's constructing the available visual scene and making decisions about it. If the frontal cortex isn't expecting to see something (the orange juice), it blots it out of consciousness.

In other words--believing is part of seeing.

2 comments:

Aileen said...

Interesting!

Star Lawrence said...

I am very interested in vision stories--since I lost sight in one eye...