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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The cells in the eye (called “rods”) that are responsible for peripheral vision (as opposed to “cones” which give detail to the tiny area you are focused on at any given time) evolved to detect faint movements and changes quickly (though with little detail or even color), as an evolutionary defense mechanism against predators, against which you need to be able to react quickly and thoughtlessly as they approach.

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