How the Human Brain Is Able to Perceive Movement in Videos While Looking at Still Images

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.

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