Daily Archives: December 4, 2009

Astral Eyes

STUDIES have shown that many of us are so preoccupied with future expectations, we fail to see what’s right in front of us.

A well known attention experiment at Harvard showed that many people missed seeing a 200-pound gorilla walking through a small group of basketball players.

Not so for a clinically blind man, who clearly saw what he should not have seen. A surprised science writer, Andrea Gawrylewski, reporting in The Scientist, described the experiment and wondered:

“How much can you see with a non-functioning visual cortex?”

¿

“With lesions on both sides of his visual cortex,” reports a paper published in Current Biology, “he was able to flawlessly navigate an obstacle course.”

Biologists and neurologists are still searching for the hardware (neurons) responsible for this seeming impossibility.

This post has been updated and republished at:

Seeing and Believing