Eli5 what is happening when an object is missing, but is right there in your vision however the brain blocks it?


Eli5 what is happening when an object is missing, but is right there in your vision however the brain blocks it?

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The brain is on vacay?

Blind spot?

Our eyes literally have a blind spot.

Unless you’re talking about the way our brain learns to ignore things it sees every day, like our noses?

Our brains visual system has small attention dips whenever you have reward signaling.. more specifically we know it must be dopamine signaling, its the whole concept why wheres waldo works. If you have enough things that look almosr like waldo we will miss waldo even if he is righr next to it… thats also why all those “spot a red Z and an orange R things work… we can set it up that there is a red Z in the pic the same time as the orange R. As long as theres enough confusinf signaling theres only one getting spotted by our brain… for instance seeing the word red in orange or an orange Z can throw us off hard.

This is a limit of our inner visual system we have found out because theres plenty of exercises we can do to take more care to our outer peripheral vision… which literally runs at a faster processing speed and is running over different neurons… if we train this we can get better at spotting thrse things…. so the brain does pick it up its just our eyes focus and reward system blocks it usually.

Andrew hubermann has a bunch of podcasts about this, it’s hella interesting.

General rule of thumb if you pay attention to something you will miss and block out other parts. Its unavoidable…we as humans do like 99% of our stuff subconsciously if we attend to the feel of the wind rn we will start feeling it. Our brain just blocked it till we attended to it… blocking stuff out of focus is a thing our brain is mad good at.

You’re not actually seeing what you think you are seeing. The visual inputs into your optic nerve are sent to your visual cortex where they are broken down, analyzed and then reconstructed.

First off you’re actually seeing everything upside down. Light coming into the eyes is flipped onto your retina at the back of your eyes. In fact it is thought that newborns fail to switch the image the correct way up and thus see the world upside for the first days of their life.

Your brain is trying to analyze what it is seeing and present the consciousness with the most important data that it needs. So it prioritizes information details of the bear in the distance that’s busy charging up on you but actually gives you extremely limited information of the tree that’s right in front of you. The best way to illustrate this is check out this clip on **Change Blindness** by [Professor Bruce Hood](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOF-saZ1XSQ)

Furthermore your vision also has a definite blind spot in it. Unlike a DSLR sensor (in a camera) there is a definite gap in your retina (where the optic nerve is) of about 1.6mm. So why don’t we see it? Because our brains fill it in for us. Not only has it got surrounding data to work with but also data from the other eye.

Our brains break down and analyze what we are looking at in real time in our incredibly complex visual cortex. Our minds are highly sophisticated neural networks that work by employing the equivalent of incredibly vast libraries of pattern recognition to characterize and make sense of what we are seeing.