In the PBS series, It’s Okay to Be Smart, host Dr. Joe Hanson explains how humans are being tricked into seeing images that aren’t really there while watching movies, videos, and games. In doing so, he confers with David Eagleman, a Stanford University neuroscientist who studies brain plasticity and time perception and uses footage by the Slow Mo Guys to further this thesis.
Movies. Video games. YouTube videos. All of them work because we accidentally figured out a way to fool your brain’s visual processing system, and you don’t even know it’s happening.
Hanson explains the history of the moving picture, noting how the brain is able to retain information longer than the eye. This is the “illusion of apparent motion”.
In the last century and a half or so, billions of minds have been tricked into seeing moving images that aren’t really there. Many of us spend hours every day staring at these illusions and never even think twice about it…. Literal toys inspired fundamental questions about how our brains work, how we perceive the world, and how we construct reality itself and scientists today are still using these illusions to tackle those questions.