Perception

Interesting Facts

  • An image that doesn’t change its brightness and color and is stabilized in regard to the retina (for example, with the help of contact lenses with a light source attached to them and moving with the eyes) is not recognized by a test subject 1-3 seconds after the start. A visual pattern sort of “fades” and the field of view becomes absolutely empty.
  • Babies don’t discern objects surrounding them except for the human face. According to their perception the visual world is presented in blots of color. Babies learn to see individual objects in the process of correlation between eyes and hands, comparing what their eyes see and what their hands feel.
  • The typical reaction of a person who has never flown on a plane before and who was put in an artificially created weightless state: “I felt like I was falling down to the abyss. Everything around me was crashing. It was horrible.” Only about 15% of people remembered what a stable spatial environment was, even though they’d been told about weightlessness.
  • Ethnographers wrote about the following incident: for a few months three scientists lived with a tribe that believed the end of the world was on the opposite side of the river. One of the scientists had to leave to get some essential tools. He crossed the river while his colleagues watched the tribe’s reaction with curiosity. To their surprise, the tribe’s people said that the scientist disappeared and that they couldn’t see him after he crossed the river; meanwhile his colleagues could see him clearly.
  • One ethnographer was studying the life of a pygmy tribe that lived in a dense forest and couldn’t see objects that were very far away. Once, the ethnographer left the forest with a pygmy. Cows were grazing in the distance, but for the pygmy, who had never seen cows before, he thought they were ants.
  • Knowledge of an object’s size and not its actual real size plays a crucial role in measuring distance. During experiments people thought that playing cards twice as big as standard ones were placed twice as close but a 5 foot chair looked slightly bigger than a normal chair to them.
  • In an experiment a chess grand master was shown certain chess positions on a chessboard for a very short period of time (less than a second) and his task was to remember the position of the chess pieces. After the image flashed on the screen he said it was pointless to ask him to tell the positions of the pieces or even the number of pieces, yet he was certain the white were winning.
  • On average, men have more focused sight while women have more dispersed sight. Thus, men can see farther but they lack scope; women have good peripheral sight and can see the whole “picture.” The same rule applies to hearing as well. Women can easily carry out a conversation and not miss a word said by people standing close to them while men lack the same ability. That’s why before answering the phone men sometimes ask for the TV volume to be lowered or surrounding people to just “be quiet for a bit.”
  • A group of chickens were trained so they were able to choose a stripe of a lighter color (a gray one) from a set of two stripes. Later, a new pair of stripes was introduced: one stripe was the same light color that the chicken chose in the first experiment and the second stripe was a new and even lighter color. In 75% of the cases the chickens reacted to the color relation, i.e. they were choosing the lightest stripe even though they’d never seen it before.