Can you believe your eyes?

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Yesterday evening, I caught the tail end of a fascinating TV programme on how our brain and senses work. Luckily it’s available to see again (in the UK) on BBC iPlayer  http://tinyurl.com/328gwtv

The programme is worth watching, if only for the brilliant illusions that trick our brain. As one contributor explained,

The way we see the world, is based on our prediction of the world. So we see things that we expect to see … (Gustav Kuhn, former magician turned academic psychologist)

I also loved the demonstration of the brain’s plasticity – its astonishing ability to change according to need. The blind person who has found a way to cycle along a path using sound echoes was a great example. He creates an inner map from the types of echoes he gets back – a bit like a bat. (I’ve seen a similar story on YouTube of a teenager in the USA who loves to skateboard along at frightening speed, negotiating parked cars and garbage cans with ease.)

Can you believe your eyes (or other senses)? Probably not.

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