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Forsight Theory

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Jun 2008 10:27

Key to All Optical Illusions Discovered

Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer
LiveScience.com
1 hour, 21 minutes ago

Humans can see into the future, says a cognitive scientist. It's nothing like the alleged predictive powers of Nostradamus, but we do get a glimpse of events one-tenth of a second before they occur.

And the mechanism behind that can also explain why we are tricked by optical illusions.


Researcher Mark Changizi of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York says it starts with a neural lag that most everyone experiences while awake. When light hits your retina, about one-tenth of a second goes by before the brain translates the signal into a visual perception of the world.


Scientists already knew about the lag, yet they have debated over exactly how we compensate, with one school of thought proposing our motor system somehow modifies our movements to offset the delay.


Changizi now says it's our visual system that has evolved to compensate for neural delays, generating images of what will occur one-tenth of a second into the future. That foresight keeps our view of the world in the present. It gives you enough heads up to catch a fly ball (instead of getting socked in the face) and maneuver smoothly through a crowd. His research on this topic is detailed in the May/June issue of the journal Cognitive Science,


Explaining illusions


That same seer ability can explain a range of optical illusions, Changizi found.


"Illusions occur when our brains attempt to perceive the future, and those perceptions don't match reality," Changizi said.


Here's how the foresight theory could explain the most common visual illusions - geometric illusions that involve shapes: Something called the Hering illusion, for instance, looks like bike spokes around a central point, with vertical lines on either side of this central, so-called vanishing point. The illusion tricks us into thinking we are moving forward, and thus, switches on our future-seeing abilities. Since we aren't actually moving and the figure is static, we misperceive the straight lines as curved ones.


"Evolution has seen to it that geometric drawings like this elicit in us premonitions of the near future," Changizi said. "The converging lines toward a vanishing point (the spokes) are cues that trick our brains into thinking we are moving forward - as we would in the real world, where the door frame (a pair of vertical lines) seems to bow out as we move through it - and we try to perceive what that world will look like in the next instant."


Grand unified theory


In real life, when you are moving forward, it's not just the shape of objects that changes, he explained. Other variables, such as the angular size (how much of your visual field the object takes up), speed and contrast between the object and background, will also change.


For instance, if two objects are about the same distance in front of you, and you move toward one of the objects, that object will speed up more in the next moment, appear larger, have lower contrast (because something that is moving faster gets more blurred), and literally get nearer to you compared with the other object.


Changizi realized the same future-seeing process could explain several other types of illusions. In what he refers to as a "grand unified theory," Changizi organized 50 kinds of illusions into a matrix of 28 categories. The results can successfully predict how certain variables, such as proximity to the central point or size, will be perceived.


Changizi says that finding a theory that works for so many different classes of illusions is "a theorist's dream."


Most other ideas put forth to explain illusions have explained one or just a few types, he said.
The theory is "a big new player in the debate about the origins of illusions," Changizi told LiveScience. "All I'm hoping for is that it becomes a giant gorilla on the block that can take some punches."

Video: How to Time Travel
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Original Story: Key to All Optical Illusions Discovered

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Reminds me a little of Miles Teg's "doubled vision".
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Pardot Kynes
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Postby Pardot Kynes » 02 Jun 2008 10:34

What the fuck?

Can someone more science oriented explain how this is possible to me...
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What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.
-Julius Caesar

http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/451/451.html
http://omacl.org/

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Postby HoosierDaddy » 02 Jun 2008 10:45

Pardot Kynes wrote:What the fuck?

Can someone more science oriented explain how this is possible to me...


It's not. The human mind may guess or anticipate future events, but reaction time to an unexpected event is limited by the processing time of the mind, and the senses.

As Col. Potter on MASH used to say: HORSE HOCKEY.

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Postby orald » 02 Jun 2008 10:47

Reminds me a little of the phrase "hogwash".

Only read first two "paragraphs"(can you call it a para' if it's only a sentence?), and lost my interest in the end of the first one TBH.
Maybe I'll read it all later, but all these useless crackpot theories... :roll:

writer to some popular science magazine wrote:It's nothing like the alleged predictive powers of Nostradamus

Oh, I do have to disagree. If we've got a little taste of it here, why then shouldn't there be better, stronger seers in other places?
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby GamePlayer » 02 Jun 2008 12:15

What your mind "thinks" will be the future and the actual future itself are two totally different things. Our bodies live in perpetual prediction assuming that when we place a foot forward, it will land on the ground firmly and thus enable us to walk. Adjustments that your body makes for this one-tenth of a second delay could be as simple as a learned autonomic response that everybody obtains early in life. Some people may learn this better than others, leading to some having more grace or cognitive efficiency than others. Nothing mystical or precognitive about it, at least not as far as I can tell from this pseudo scientific sounding article.

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Postby SandChigger » 02 Jun 2008 17:03

Hmmm. I think it would be necessary to read the actual paper on this one.

Here's a page with the mentioned Hering Illusion (and some others), FWIW:

http://www.wyrmcorp.com/galleries/illus ... tort.shtml
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby loremaster » 03 Jun 2008 02:10

I'm not convinced, without having read it i can think of a dozen potential pitfalls:

a)HOW exactly does premonition affect static illusions? (where there are no moving parts?) Its all very well saying it does, but you can line up virtually any theory with virtually any evidence.

b) what is the mechanism for the optic centres extrapolating forward? Catching a ball is well known to occur via a series of assessment and reassessment, its the brain doing mathematics, nothing more.

c)many illusions are due to the structure and function of the human eye ( blind spot, photobleaching, peripheral vision binocularity etc)
The HLP hasnt released Frank's notes yet, Brian hasn't got the handwriting quite right!

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Postby Hunchback Jack » 03 Jun 2008 10:19

Well, I think "seeing in to the future" is a msleading way of putting it, but I could see that your brain might anticipate what would happen in the very near future, and "preload" an image in advance to help reaction time.

Our brains already do similar "post-processing" on what we actually see. It inverts the image, fills in details in our peripheral vision based on what we "know" is there, slightly "zooms" and enhances the center of the image when we're trying to look at something far away, etc.

Mind you, I'm not sure optical illusions are evidence of this idea; I think they can be explained in other ways, as loremaster said.

HBJ

HoosierDaddy

Postby HoosierDaddy » 03 Jun 2008 10:43

Sight is certainly the most "moderated" of all the senses, as the brain needs to sift through visual data, as well as fit the image in space to understand what is going on.

I remember reading about an experiment done in the 1950's, where a guy put on goggles that made his vision upside down. After wearing the goggles a day or two, his brain flipped the image back to normal. He walked and functioned normally. Then when he took the goggles off, his vision flipped back to upside down! He needed a day or so for his vision to return to normal.

Reminds me of the relationship the video card has to a computer system.

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Postby SandChigger » 03 Jun 2008 11:43

I was just wondering if this ties in in some way with visual hallucinations, the brain "seeing" things that aren't really there. Hmmm....
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby orald » 03 Jun 2008 13:14

Chig wrote:I was just wondering if this ties in in some way with visual hallucinations, the brain "seeing" things that aren't really there. Hmmm...
Of course the angles are there! Don't tell me you can't see and hear them.

They're calling to meeee..... :o
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby loremaster » 04 Jun 2008 03:10

Not having the technical wizardry to post links and so on properly, i`ll just link to this:

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/90

Which is a useful introduction to "infrasound" chig.

Basically, infrasonic vibrations (infrasound) are sounds below the human hearing range (20Hz).

Though they are below the human hearing range, and therefore not consciously heard, they still resonate within many structures in the body. In particular:

The humours (fluid within the eye) - which has shown to cause vibrations which can distort seen images, generate "shimmering" effectd and outlines, as well as points of light.

Spinal fluid + structure - The classic "Spine tingling" sensation but coming first. Also affects certain nerve dendrites and can therefore alter/create sensation.

increases pressure in the inner ear -causing, amongst other things, loss of balance and disorientation.


Basically, there is a growing body of evidence (summarised here:

http://www.borderlands.com/newstuff/research/infra.htm )

Which highlights certain pieces of evidence, that together with more research is beginning to give plausible explanations for certain "supernatural" phenomena. eg:

http://www.spacedog.biz/Infrasonic/experiment.htm

Where they played a musical concert, and behind a random selection of songs they played infrasonic music. These songs were most reported to have an emotional effect on the crowd.
In order to make it a fair test, they repeated it the same night, but with the sound behind the other songs, this time THEY were reported to be more significant.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Artic ... 91,00.html

A researcher who now leads this field noticed that she felt a presence in her lab with her. It was later identified to be the cooling fan, which was producing infrasound of 18hz. It was detected because the room was exactly half the wavelength, and so a standing wave was picked up and resonated a metal foil in the centre of the lab.

She has since been to other "haunted" sites and similar, and found a great many of them to be filled with infrasound. It's also been observed in many man made places, such as around organs in large cathedrals, in large old stone buildings, (typical haunted, or religious places). Even old religious sites, such as ancient caves, have been identified as directing infrasonic waves.

I know this is a bit tangential and Freak/Omph might wanna jump it to its own thread to prevent hijack, but chig asked about hallucinations so i thought i`d share it with you.
The HLP hasnt released Frank's notes yet, Brian hasn't got the handwriting quite right!

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Postby SandChigger » 04 Jun 2008 03:58

Kewl.

Actually I saw something on Discovery just last week about elephants and their infrasonic vocalizations (how they travel much further and are distorted less by obstacles such as trees, etc). :D
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby orald » 04 Jun 2008 08:10

OMG, this is so creepy, I'm feeling a presence right now! :shock:

Oh, wait, that's my cute doggy. :)
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Jun 2008 11:54

People do like the bass!
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Postby SandChigger » 04 Jun 2008 18:33

Nah, give me a nice catfish, done up Cajun style, anyday. ;)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Omphalos » 04 Jun 2008 18:49

I prefer samlon. But....don't eat them all or youre fucked.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Jun 2008 18:52

Ours have sea lice and are dying. Stupid fish farms. Stay away from our salmon! More for me. :)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Jun 2008 18:55

So loremaster, that study that says people have spiritual experiences when subjected to extra low bass... did it say whether the study group was entirely Jamaican?
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Postby Omphalos » 04 Jun 2008 19:03

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Ours have sea lice and are dying. Stupid fish farms. Stay away from our salmon! More for me. :)


You have not read The Legacy of Heorot yet, have you?

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Jun 2008 19:36

Nope. I missed a joke I take it? Up here it's pretty much a given that someone'll say "don't eat them all..." when talking about fish, something about Cod, I dunno. :wink:
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Postby Omphalos » 04 Jun 2008 20:37

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Nope. I missed a joke I take it? Up here it's pretty much a given that someone'll say "don't eat them all..." when talking about fish, something about Cod, I dunno. :wink:


Read that book. Its a bonzer!

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Jun 2008 20:58

Bonzer :? :?:

I take it that means good?

EDIT: Okay, it's by Pournelle and Niven and some other guy... I liked Mote and Gripping so I can probably give this a shot.
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Postby Dune Nerd » 04 Jun 2008 22:09

Omphalos wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Nope. I missed a joke I take it? Up here it's pretty much a given that someone'll say "don't eat them all..." when talking about fish, something about Cod, I dunno. :wink:


Read that book. Its a bonzer!


Really is top notch. Good action, good plot, well done interesting characters.

Don't waste time on Children of Beowulf though. It's a KJA/BH look alike contest there. I don't know how they screwed that up so badly.

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Postby Omphalos » 04 Jun 2008 22:32

Out of all the late-70's-early-80's genre-revamp books that those two put out (and there are a lot and they all, without exception, are good) that is probably the best.


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