Thursday, June 30, 2011

Illusions, Optical lllusions, and Statistics

Lovely bit found at the news aggregater, Newswise, and linked to here--
Neuroscientists Find Famous Optical Illusion Surprisingly Potent
Newswise — Scientists have come up with new insight into the brain processes that cause the following optical illusion...

There follows in the article a link  to a youtube video which clearly demonstrates this effect---after a certain kind of motion your brain continues to see that motion in things which are NOT actually moving. Aristotle noticed this "optical illusion."

Now a scientist at the University of Rochester has pinpointed an area of the brain where this illusion originates. According to the article scientists are carrying on research next to determine if this illusion is beneficial.

What they neglected to look for was an area of the brain where the effect that '"any explanation whatsoever" makes a researcher feel he has found a sufficient explanation', originates. 

An example, of the kind of aspect neuroscientists are mostly oblivious to, would be --  what if -- What if the so-called Motion Aftereffect illusion is so strong because it supports the mechanical illusion that having thoughts is the same thing as thinking. An illusion quite beneficial to the orderly and progressive development of civilization. One thought after another, like a line of elephants in parade, constantly moves through your mind, at least--that is the impression. Closer scrutiny reveals each thought/ I mean elephant, is actually just a statue, a statue on a conveyor belt.  Itself not moving at all. And still everyone on the planet would say, yes my thoughts are alive, they engage. But if they are actually NOT in motion, then some greater Real Motion, might be really moving, beyond the apprehension of man's mechanical intelligence. 

Meeh, why should I give them clues, though. Still some might wonder if, there are not people, who are, as we speak, investigating that conveyor belt. 

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