Coming to terms with being human.


Life as a Construction Worker

The experiment goes like this. Start with two flashes of light (Flash Uno and Flash Dos). Flash Uno goes off and quite soon after Dos goes off a few inches away. You assume that you will perceive two separate flashes of light. You are wrong!

Well, I am overstating a bit. What you perceive depends on the speed between flashes. If the timing is slow, you do see two separate dots. However, if the timing is quick you will see one dot moving from the position of Flash Uno to the position of Flash Dos. Your brain constructs the perception of movement, even though no movement occurred.
What's more, your brain constructs the perception of time! Remember that in the experiment one flash appears after the other. The perceiver of the flashes sees a single dot move in a straight line from Uno's position to Dos's position. How did the brain know which direction to move the dot in? The brain doesn't know, it creates a perception of movement after receiving the stimulation of the two points. What you see doesn't happen when you see it!
Neuroscience has been uncovering the brain's ability to construct our experience. Your brain does not passively take in information and tell you what is out there. It actively constructs a particularly human view of an unmistakably non-human universe.

I have been wondering about all the construction going on in my head. If my sensory experience is based on mental construction, what does that say about other perceived truths? After all, my thoughts are based in my experiences. More about this later.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home