It has come to my attention that my posts may not be showing up in some of your readers. Please let me know if you are experiencing this bug. Unfollowing then refollowing will often fix the problem. If this does not work, please let me know, and I will get in contact with WordPress. Thank you.
Ever heard the saying “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear?” It’s a fun and useful rule of thumb. Who hasn’t seen or heard something outlandish every now and then? What may come as a surprise, though, is how accurate this statement is. Mounting evidence suggests that our brains are not as trustworthy as they lead us to believe.
Look at this screen. It’s bright and colorful (and is filled with awesome posts you should totally like and share). But what if I told you that what you see might not actually be there? Unknown to most, the human eye has a blind spot—a rather sizable one, in fact. The area where the optic nerve connects to the eye lacks light receptors, leaving it unable to gather information. As strange as it may seem, you have two gaping holes in your vision.
Here is where it gets weird: take a look at the picture above and try the exercise. If done correctly, the elephant will disappear. This means that it has moved into your blind spot. But notice what you see in its place. This should be even more shocking than a vanishing elephant (which, I might add, does not happen every day). Your brain has filled in the gap with the color surrounding it.
Called filling in, this phenomenon explains why we do not notice our blind spots. The brain uses our surroundings to literally make up what we cannot see, covering the holes with its best guess as to what’s there. As crazy as the elephant example appears, this guesswork is amazing. Most people go through their entire life without noticing a single oddity. In fact, the brain does more than match background colors—every day it fills in complicated colors and patterns, flawlessly incorporating its predictions into the world before us. Just take a look at the picture below to see this in action.
Filling in stands among the most incredible functions of the brain, but it comes with a troubling implication: we do not see the universe as it is. Our world is warped by the human experience, filtered by a brain that has evolved to re-imagine what our senses perceive. For all of humanity’s benefits, it comes at the cost of objectivity. Our eyes will never see the real world.
Two hundred and fifty years ago, German philosopher Immanuel Kant postulated that human existence is deceptive. Our perceptions are distorted by our humanity, he argued, and we will never see past the warped lens of the human experience. Centuries later, science has proven him right. Next time you see something incredible, remember to take your brain with a grain of salt.
So what do you think? Does this blow your mind? Please share your thoughts or other cool phenomena like this in the comments section below. As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. That small click really helps me out. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday! IT’S FREE!
Other related articles:
Comment question of the week
Is your mind blown? What other cool things like this do you know about?