pete3428: January 2012 Archives

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Chapter 4 is about how our bodies physically see, smell, hear, feel, and taste the world around us, and how our brains make sense of these input signals. Some people believe our senses go beyond these five, like being able to consistently guess the picture on a card without actually seeing it (known as clairvoyance, and illustrated in the above scene from Ghostbusters.) Others believe their senses allow them to predict future events or read your mind, but these haven't been scientifically proven. We tend to take our senses for granted, but they are extremely important to how we experience life.

What I found most interesting in this chapter was that our senses often don't match up with physical reality. There are many intriguing examples of ways to trick your senses that I found hard to believe! I've gone most of my life assuming that what I see is an exact version of what is in front of me, but apparently this is not so. The following video shows us how the colors we see change in the context of surrounding patterns and light.

No, It's not a trick that is the same color the whole time. Your brain is just interpreting the color differently. This makes me wonder: What exactly is color? This is one of many interesting questions that arise in chapter 4 when we learn that our interpretation of the world isn't perfect, but just that, an interpretation.

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