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Blind Spots

--by Michael Talbot (Nov 26, 2001)

Studies suggest that less than 50% of what we "see" is actually based on information entering our eyes. The remaining 50% plus is pieced together out of our expectations of what the world should look like. The eyes may be visual organs, but it is the brain that sees. Even more dramatic evidence of the role the mind plays in creating what we see is provided by the eye's so called blind spot. In the middle of the retina, where the optic nerve connects to the eye, we have a blind spot where there are no photoreceptors. When we look at the world around us we are totally unaware that there are gaping holes in our vision. It doesn't matter whether we are gazing at a blank piece of paper or an ornate persian carpet. The brain artfully fills in the gaps like a skilled tailor reweaving a hole in a piece of fabric. What is all the more remarkable is that it reweaves the tapestry of our visual reality so masterfully we aren't aware it is doing so.

This leads to a disturbing question. If we are seeing less than half of what is out there, what is out there that we are not seeing? For example, although spider webs look drab and white to us, we now know that to the ultraviolet-sensitive eyes of the insects for who they were designed, they are actually brightly colored and hence alluring. Our technology also tells us that fluorescent lamps do not continuously provide light, but are actually flickering on and off at a rate that is just a little too fast for us to discern.

Karl Pribram, one of the leading brain researchers, states that reality at large is really a frequency domain, and our brain is a kind of lens that converts these frequencies into the objective world of appearances. Pribram believes there may be all kinds of things out there in the frequency domain that we are not seeing, things our brains have learned to edit out regularly of our visual reality.

-- Michael Talbot in 'The Holographic Universe'


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