Wave your hand slowly in front of your face.
Did your eyes track the movement? If so, your brain has formed a memory of that action; it will remember what the motion looks like in case you ever do it again.
In fact, a new study suggests that even if you wave your hand in front of your face in total darkness, your eyes may “see” it simply because they’ve seen it before.
“One thing our brains are exceptionally good at is picking up on reliable patterns,” said lead study author Duje Tadin, professor of cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “Think about how many times you moved your hand and saw that movement … It makes sense that our brains exploit this strong link.”
Tadin and his colleagues conducted five experiments involving a total of 129 people. Their results were published online this week in the journal Psychological Science.
For the first two experiments, participants were shown two blindfolds. They were told that one of the blindfolds “may allow a small amount of light to pass through.” In reality, both blindfolds blocked all light.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education