How does our eyes interpret so many photons of light which travels so much faster than neural signals?


How is it that we see the world almost instantaneously? Shouldn’t it take much longer to interpret so many photons which are bombarding the eyes with speed of light? Shouldn’t our vision lag?

In: 3


Light strikes a molecules in the eye. These molecules absorb it, break, and send a signal.

This signal moves relatively slowly to the brain, where it is processed. It takes tens of milliseconds for that to happen.

In ten milliseconds, light travels 3,000 kilometers, so… Yeah. There’s definitely a lot of lag by the standards of light, but by the standards of things humans do the lag is insanely small.

And it doesn’t matter how many photons we actually absorb, because each photon hits a different molecule, so they’re processed side by side. It’s not like they have to wait in line.

It does take about 0.7 seconds to become conscious of some types of incoming light stimulation but your mind creates a fluid perception which does not bring attention to human’s blindspots or brain processes. This way your perception of the world seems seamless but in reality the brain is making up a lot of what you see to keep it looking seamless, but it is not even close to reality just close enough to keep you alive. Your subconscious is processing things faster but our vision does not lag because a giant portion of the brain is spent on processing incoming visual and auditory stimulation.


Not all the photons get processed. If that’s what you’re asking. This is why if you stare at a propeller or a car wheel, it appears to rotate at a different rate than it actually rotates. The rate it appears to rotate at is the rate that your eyes create the neural signals. You can get the same effect with video cameras that also have a fixed rate that they can create each video frame