Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Neurological Perception and Errors of Vision

Apophenia, the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness", but it has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general (such as with gambling), paranormal phenomena, and religion.

Pareidolia is a type of apophenia involving the perception of images or sounds in random stimuli, for example, hearing a ringing phone while taking a shower, images of animals or faces in clouds, etc.

Now a few examples of the above are as follows (Respectively):

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


What this means is that our brains rely more on context than on detail.  We derive meaning from patterns, such as language, by interrelating common characteristics and applying them to previous experience, resulting in unique interpretation of characteristics that may be historically similar, but are contextually independent.  But in the case of language, we have cause to find meaningful patterns in what may sometimes seem like complete chaos.  Language is, by definition a static pattern of visual, auditory and (most importantly) conceptual characters.

Now how is it related to Scoptoma. It’s a phenomenon when the eyes sees what the mind believes, more like the mind sees what it wants to see. So its safe to say that its not about the complex involvement of cognitive function but just the projection of an idea of our mind into our mind through the eyes.

But what is Scotoma then. Its another name for blind spot. Its the are of our retina which is posterior and medially located, from which the optic nerve arises, called as optic disk. Its named so because it lacks the receptors of light and colour. But we dont see a spot (except pathologically) in our field of vision, because the brain fills up the area in our perceptual area by arranging what could have been present. Most of the time we know what would be there without noticing, so our cortex turns it into an virtual reality.

Inattentional Blindness is an inability to perceive something that is within one's direct perceptual field because one is attending to something else. This is because perception is an limited and confined process though the stimuli are multiple at the same time. More the attention towards an particular event or events is paid, the lesser attention is towards the surrounding environment. In short, cognitive attention is towards something upon which more concentration is held. Hence this is also categorized into Cognitive Blindness.

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