Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Right in Front of Your Eyes!

I like seeing 'close up' magic, and can be fooled by distraction and patter as well as most,

Not surprisingly, the same things can catch us out on-road too.

But I bet you're not easily folled or caught out, are you?

No? You're one of the 'savvy' ones who sees through scams, and not a sucker like me.

I bet you can always see what's right in front of your eyes!


OK, then, here's a challenge for you:

Step away from the computer, and head for the nearest mirror.

Get close, perhaps less than a foot away, so nothing can distract you.

Look at your eyes.

Don't blink!

Can you see them clearly?

Now look sideways, then back to the front, then sideways again - all the time watching for your eyes moving.

After all, you can have missed anything, can you?

Well, actually you can.

It's called a 'saccade', and while your eyes are moving you can't 'see' - you're only aware when your eyes are fixed on a point. Your vision - what you see - is a series of 'fixed' views.

Remember this the next time you think "He must have seen me . . . !"

More on saccades

Final question: Since you've been reading this, how many times did your 'view' of the screen dim as you blinked? Unless you had a speck of dirt you were trying to remove, it's unlikely you'll have notived any blinking . . .

Ain't vision interesting? :)

The picture, by the way, is Man Ray's 'Glass Tears', one of my favourite surrealist artworks.

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