Eli5: Why do things moving quickly in our peripheral vision startle us so much? Especially in a normally safe place like home

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Eli5: Why do things moving quickly in our peripheral vision startle us so much? Especially in a normally safe place like home

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You get startled in your own home because the movement is out of the ordinary for your environment. If you’re out shopping, you know people are moving all around you so your brain just notes it and moves on. At home alone? Could be a random dustbunny kicked up by the AC coming on, could be an axe murderer! Similarly, sudden noise at night when it’s usually quiet of course wakes people up, but if you are used to sleeping somewhere with lots of traffic or forest noises and they all suddenly go silent, it’ll also wake you because the little part of your brain that’s still paying attention goes “*wait that’s not right!*”

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