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How We "See" . . . ????

Friday, November 15, 2019

I've finished and DH is currently reading a fun book: The Queen's Corgi by David Michie. Both of us love books written from the point of view of a dog . . . and this one features a floppy-eared corgi, Nelson, who shares with us many more-or-less profound conversations he overhears in the Queen's household as distinguished visitors meet with various members of the royal family. .

So: who knows how accurate the reports of these conversations actually are: and that's part of the fun too.

However, one such report concerns some scientific information about how we see.

And we're told that 20% of sight is actual data from the retina in the eyeball.

But: fully 80% of what we think we see is derived from various memory centres in the brain.

I've googled a bit but been unable to find the scientific back-up for this report . . . and there are no helpful footnotes of course since this is fiction. So I am hopeful maybe a Sparkie can elucidate!!

But if it's true, how interesting. One can only imagine how such scientific information would, for example, impact "eye witness" evidence in a court of law: once it were recognized that what the eye witness "sees" is 80% based upon that individual's own personal history lodged in memory.

And: supposing it's also true of what we hear? Maybe what we believe we hear people saying to us is 20% actual auditory and 80% memory also.

Hmmmm. And yet, we spend so much time stewing over those 60,000 to 100,000 random "thoughts" that flood our brains every day. Feeling our thinking.

Can you imagine that she had the absolute unmitigated nerve to do that? I saw her!! With my own eyes!!!

And yeah, that's exactly what he said to me!! I heard him!! No kidding!! Just who does he think he is????

We get all churned up and emotional. So often fearing, because of our memories, a repetition of what happened to us in the past. Or anticipating what may happen to us in the future. And quite probably we haven't REALLY seen, haven't REALLY heard, what we think we have seen and heard.

Whereas focusing on the present moment -- what we are actually seeing, what we are actually hearing -- is most of the time a considerably calmer and more peaceful place.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think the same thing happens with … reading … emails and texts.

    We each carry our own "baggage" around putting our own slaint on allllllll kinds of things.
    139 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
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    142 days ago
    How fascinating. Hope you do find science behind the 80/20. It makes a lot of sense, especially when I think of people who have such difficulty letting go of trauma or seeing or hearing anything that doesn't reinforce what they are already thinking.
    144 days ago
    The brain truly is a strange and marvelous organ with much to learn and understand about it. Thanks for this blog! Food for thought.

    It's like that game of telephone; You start a message and it NEVER ends up the same @ the end of the line.

    And just with my own life, sharing experiences w/my brother has always amazed me, as our perspective on what we witnessed are so vastly different.
    145 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/16/2019 9:23:09 AM
    I sure would like to know what Callie and Juno are thinking sometimes - especially when Callie is digging another hole in the yard. I can just hear them ....

    J: go on - she'll never catch you
    C: ooooo cool soft dirt.
    J: hurry - I hear her coming
    C: dig dig dig dig dig
    J: hey - move over. Make room for me.
    C: Ahhhhh. Holes. I love them.
    145 days ago
    145 days ago
    Very interesting. I know someone and her children will verify that their mother can hear something within their hearing and the mother will repeat it and it will be something totally different. My jaw has dropped on more than one occasion. I don't have science to back this up but I think some wires get crossed somewhere. I wonder if people can have dyslexic hearing as well as sight. Interesting. I am sure this has happened to me at sometime of other. While I was in the Navy years ago, I was in communications. That is where I found out that my family did not know how to communicate at all! As children we learned never to question! Can you believe that! Anyway I have had 3 days of what I consider IE. So far it feels rather good.
    145 days ago
    145 days ago

    I would guess that some of it may relate to those "tests" where part of a word is spelled using numbers to substitute for a letter and that look vaguely like the letter - for example, writing the word "TEST" but typing "73S7" and our brain naturally transposes that 3 into an E, and adds the missing right hand top to the 7 so it becomes a T.

    Or typing 7E&7 and we turn that ampersand into an S.

    Our brains definitely fill in missing information, so I can see how our prior history fills in "Oh, that's a sunset because..." or "Oh, that sound means ....." I mean, how else would we be able to even read if our brains reset every day, if we couldn't remember what these funny squiggles and lollipops mean? Learning is all about memorizing a history, in a way.

    145 days ago
    I know I would make a terrible eye witness :)
    145 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    Reminds me of the time DH and I reported on our potential house purchase and said simultaneously:
    DH: It has lots of closet space!
    Me: But it doesn’t have much closet space.
    emoticon emoticon

    145 days ago
    Okay then emoticon
    145 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Interesting! I have heard something like that before as far as what we see and what we think we see. The brain is an amazing organ! But your ending is exactly right. We put emotions into what we hear or see instead of living in the present! Have a great day!
    145 days ago
  • GABY1948
    That is a very interesting book!!! I wish I could force myself to take more time to read....I usually read prophecy Christian books right now. Even retired there just aren't enough hours in a day to do all we want to do!
    145 days ago
    It's all our big brains, spinning! LOL! Perhaps we'd be better off if we were NOT quite so "smart"?
    145 days ago
    This reminds me of the time my kids and I visited a friend. I called DH, who was out and about and left a message.
    When I returned home we had quite a tiff over what he didn't act on as I requested (long forgotten to history) in my message. He kindly played that message back to me.
    Lo and behold I had not said what I was thinking and yes, I was definitely at fault!

    As to the "facts" in the book...I doubt it's scientifically correct. More likely we see 20% of an image and interpret 80% of what we take from it.
    Will look in to it.

    145 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    145 days ago
    interesting. Might try and get that book myself!
    145 days ago
    Sounds like an interesting book. I have to wonder if the cartoon I saw advertised The Queen's Corgi is based on it. Racing In The Rain was told from the dog's point of view (a Goldie), it was a great live action film by the creators of Marley and Me.
    Easy enough to believe the brain is filling in the blanks. Certainly leads to a differing of opinions of things one has seen.
    146 days ago
  • NANCY-
    The book sounds like fun.
    Interesting comments.
    I love when you ask someone to describe a car that passed by... the varied descriptions of color and model are amazing.
    146 days ago
    That is food for thought. More reasons to be mindful in the moment.

    146 days ago
    Some research in the US indicates some 70% - 75% of wrongful convictions of those cleared by DNA were eye-witness based convictions. This ought to give us cause for pause.

    For a long time I've been aware that the way I see the world is not shared by others. I see things, hear things and perceive things others don't. It doesn't make me wrong or crazy, simply one that possesses a different view..

    And, I'm also well aware of how my brain can fool me! Such a trickster!!
    146 days ago
    There is evidence that reports what we see/hear, etc. are highly dependent on one's historical perspective. When my husband and I observe something, his interpretation of what he saw/heard is distinctly different from mine. Our perspective are quite different. Some of that has to do with personality and some has to do with baggage. He might see someone with a suitcase at a bus stop and decide that person is taking trip there, without considering that this person is holding a bag for someone else, just arrived or any of other possible scenarios. Eye witnesses are usually not 100% confirming of one another. In fact, J. Warner Wallace, a cold case detective, speaks to how one decides if someone's testimony is accurate or not. He's fascinating to listen to. (Heads up-he's speaking about why he believes the Bible is true, but there is application to our world, as well...)
    146 days ago
    I have read that when a person is losing their eyesight, the brain tries to make up or compensate what the person "should" be seeing. The person with the failing vision will see things that may not actually be there, or in a way that is not correct. It has been so long ago I cannot tell you where I read this, but later I saw a British Mystery series based on this fact. Perhaps some research on failing eyesight could bring these studies up.

    At University I was thinking about going into teaching the visually handicapped. They had a special school back then and were not sent to regular schools. Same with the deaf. Our town had a school for the deaf.

    I know that my DH refuses to wear his hearing aids and some of the stuff he thinks he hears me say are purely from his own mind! It is usually pretty funny but I don't dare laugh!
    146 days ago
    Interesting. Have a good day.
    146 days ago
    Hmmm...very interesting!
    I have never heard such a thing, other than even eyewitnesses being somewhat unreliable at times.
    Food for thought, as usual from you!
    146 days ago
  • FLYER99
    Hi. That would be an interesting book. I don't know much other than what my eye doctors tell me (I have some eye issues). They do say that most sight and interpretation of what we see come from the visual cortex in the brain. They never say how much that percentage is though. I see my ophthalmologist on Monday. If I remember I'll ask him. The brain is amazing. I had a CT scan of the brain recently and the neurologist swung around the monitor at his office and said, "Do you want to see your brain?" LOL. At least there was something there. All was normal. They are evaluating some headache issues I am having. You have a wonderful Friday! ...Bob.
    146 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/15/2019 8:16:57 AM
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