The more I learn about the brain the more I realize how uneasy our brains are! There is a saying that goes, "You have to see it to believe it". The truth is that whatever seems real to us may turn out to be a fabrication of our subconscious mind and our senses. I know now that what we feel and how we think about the world influences how we actually see it.
Five years from now, I will remember the concept of sensation and perception. Sensation occurs when your sensory organs absorb energy from a physical stimulus in the environment and your sensory receptors convert this energy into neural impulses and send them to the brain. Perception follows that when the brain organizes the information and translates it into something meaningful. Here is a video that I believe tackles the concept of sensation and perception called, "The Rubber Hand Illusion":
In this illusion, a brush strokes the fake hand and the real hand until you feel the sensation from the brush on both hands. Then your perception of the "rubber hand" changes and it starts to feel like your real hand. This is exaggerated when the experimenter pulls out the hammer and smashes the rubber hand and the volunteers pull back as if it was their actual hand.
Here is a short video that deals more with perception:
In that video we learn just how easy it is to not detect something when our attention is focused on something else.
I find both experiments to be fascinating, but the question that remains is what makes something "meaningful"? How do we know what information is important and what information should hold my focus? I have yet to understand how our brains choose to focus on one thing more than another or how we can see something we know is not real and still be convinced that it is! So I'll leave you with this, just because you touch something or just because you see something... is that all the evidence you need to believe it is true?