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Despite popular misconception, humans do not see a direct representation of external reality, but a translation formed by their eyes and mind. This is not some coffee house philosophical argument, but physiological fact.
Human eyes do a good, but far from perfect job at detecting and processing light. This page is an introuduction to the physiology of seeing and offers several interesting examples of optical distortion. A Very Brief Overview of the Phsysiology of Seeing When a human looks at an object, light from the object enters the eyes.
The light goes through the cornea, which is a clear covering, then through the pupil which is a clear circle in the colored part of the eye called the iris. The pupil gets larger dilates when there is little light and smaller when there is little light. The lens focuses the light through the aqueous humor, a clear liquid, and onto the retina.
The retina, in the back of the eye, contains millions of tiny photo sensors that detect the light.
There are two main kinds of photo sensors: Shaped like rods, rods detect shades and forms and are needed for night and peripheral 'out of the corner of the eye' vision. Rods are not good at detecting color.
Shaped like cones, cones are needed for seeing details, seeing in the bright daylight and seeing colors. Cones do not work well in low light, such as at night. Rods and cones cover the entire retina except for a spot where the optic nerve connects to the brain.
The optic nerve carries the information received from the retina to the brain, where the brain translates it into the single image we perceive, or 'see.
The blind spot in an eye corresponds to the spot on the retina where the optical nerve connects the retina to the brain. At this spot there are no light detecting cells and, thus, this spot cannot detect light.
A small object can disappear from view at the spot. In everyday life the blind spot goes unnoticed. This is in part as the eye is constantly looking around, getting a wide and varied range of views.
It is also in part as the brain uses the information from both eyes to create the single mental vision. What one eye misses, the other often picks up. As its optical nerve connects differently, the octopus has no blind spot. Slowly move your head towards the picture.
At one point the RED dot will disappear. Notice that the missing spot is filled in white by your mind, so it appears as if nothing is missing from your view. This illustrates how your blind spot goes unnoticed during daily living.
Many people live their entire life not knowing they have a blind spot. Humans have more glaring blind spots. Due to the placement of our eyes in our head, we can't naturally see behind us, under our feet, from the top of our head, behind our elbows.
A common saying to explain why we didn't notice something is, "I don't have eyes in the back of my head. We compensate for these blinds spots by turning around, moving our heads, using a mirror or other reflection, saying "Who's that behind me?
Other animals have different eye placement and fields of view. As a robin has its eyes on the side of its head, it has better side view but worse directly ahead view.This section is mostly about people’s experiences of hearing voices and seeing things that others around them don’t hear or see. ‘Hallucinations’, as they are often called, are what people hear, see, feel - or even smell and taste - that .
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