Do you believe what you see?

by nboydgibbins

Anyone who has been interested in the illusions that we sometimes see before our mind corrects them – the errors, assumptions or omissions that can manifest in our vision – will have had no shortage of material to ponder over. From the sudden appearance of a high contrast insect on a surface that looked bare a second before (an insect you now cannot fail to see even in your peripheries); to the certainty that it was the silhouette of a person you saw, only to realise that that was an absurd stretch from a less threatening bush.

We believe that the human visual system integrates information over a relatively long time period; 0.12 seconds. When you consider that you see, in most instances, sharp, defined edges on objects moving through your visual field at speed, you are given an insight into the interference of the non-conscious brain into what we perceive. A camera exposing for 0.12 seconds would not be able to capture in focus a jogger, let alone a dozen birds in flight.

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