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Archive for July, 2010

You Only Need Your Brain to See

July 16th, 2010 by Admin | 1 Comment | Filed in Brain & Perception, Inspirational Stuff

Most people think that they see with their eyes. Actually ninety percent of vision takes place in the brain.

Basically, what the eyes see are impressions of light. About two million optic nerves are required to transmit visual signals from the retina—the portion of the eye where light information is decoded or translated into nerve pulses—to the brain’s primary visual cortex.

The brain uses memories to interpret what the impressions of light mean. This process is much like decoding a message into meaningful information.

This is a recent discovery. It led to scientists being able to stimulate certain areas in the brains of volunteers so that the volunteers” saw” images that their eyes were not focused on.  It has also led Paul Bach-y-Rita, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. to a new way of helping people see using their tongues via a device called BrainPort, which device uses the tongue to send the impressions of light to the brain. Paul Bach-y-Rita, has devoted much of his career to a single, revolutionary concept: that our senses are interchangeable, and they may be. The big difference as to how we perceive what we sense occurs in our brains.

There are medical cases of people who suffer various kinds of blindness due to brain injuries, although their eyes are fine and able to transmit impressions of light. One of the most interesting is that of a man who cannot see faces. He can see landscapes and objects and bodies, but due to a brain injury that affects the portion of the brain where facial memories are stored, he cannot distinguish faces, even of his own family.

The more varied and different visual memories a normally sighted person has the more that person is able to experience seeing specific people, places or things. This includes people who use corrective lenses to achieve better vision.

You know how easy it is to recognize a person that you know well, like a close family member within a crowd, such as at an airport or train station.

You would not need a photo to spot your closest friend, partner, mate, etc.,You would not even need a description of what they would be wearing to easily recognize the people closest to you.

Next, imagine this same crowd, but this time you are going to find someone new to you, but basically normal looking, that you only met briefly yesterday.  Can you remember the face of the person who you chatted briefly with in a line, the clerk at the check out, the taxi or bus driver, the person you rode with in an elevator, or asked for directions? Could you pick them out from a moving crowd?

It is almost impossible to accomplish the above task of picking a stranger out from a crowd. To easily to this the stranger would need to have a physical characteristic that visually sets them apart from most people, for instance their hair is dyed a bright green.

The reason we can easily recognize people we know well is that we have many, many visual memories of them. We have learned to distinguish them. We notice when something changes, such as they got a haircut, new eyeglasses, if they look tired, seem upset although trying to hide it. Do to our many memories we are mini visual experts on the people who are close to us.

Yet our eyes see the stranger as well as they see the person we know well.  What makes the difference in our ability to see and recognize happens in our brains.

Until recently improving vision only meant correcting what the eyes could perceive, such as through corrective lenses.

Now you can also radically improve your vision by consciously gaining more and special visual memories to change how your brain sees. You can increase your visual intelligence, which will change how effective you are in life, plus increase your enjoyment of your life.

See www.artofseeingthedivine.com to discover how you can add special visual memories to actually change the way you see the world and easily improve your life while you have fun!
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.

Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]


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