We all live our whole lives believing that our eyes are infallible, and they give us a perfect picture of the world around us. Make no mistake, our eyes capture lots and many details very well, but they can be tricked more quickly than you might think. Believe it or not, our eyes make a lot of mistakes.
So, how do our eyes work?
Let’s talk about a few things today. The first aspect you should know about your eyes is how they work. When light hits your retina, that light is transmitted from the pupil part of your eye to the back of your eye where cones and receptors wait to get and to process information and send it to your brain, which makes the image you see as you see right now.
The blind spot
That paragraph above told you about how your eyes work. This picture above shows you the anatomy of a human eye. Did you know that in the back of our eyes there is a particular spot, which has no cones or receptors to process information?
It is the area where the optic nerve lays. Since there are no receptors on the optic nerve, any light passed from the pupil has reached something of a dead spot where that image is lost forever.
You can quickly test your blind spot
The test has to do with the image above. This picture has a cross and a circle sign. What you have to do is to keep your nose pointed in between the two shapes. Once your nose is pointed in the middle of the two forms, cover your left eye, and look at the cross with your right eye. Now that you are looking at the cross with your right eye, move your head closer to the screen, while still watching the cross.
There will come the point where you will no longer be able to see the circle, and instead, you will see just white. That is your blind spot. Your brain cannot see the ring, so it fills in the missing space with white instead. You can do the same with your other eye as well, this time focusing on the circle with your left eye while covering your right eye.
The reason we don’t notice these blind spots in our common vision is because whatever blind spot one of our eyes has, the other can see it. Our brains, therefore, merge the image from both our eyes to eliminate all blind spots.
When you see something, you look at it while keeping it in the center of your field of view. It will give you the clearest and cleanest image. The center of your field of view is known as the center of your gaze (or if you want more scientific terms, your central, paracentral, and macular vision).
Your field of vision beyond that is your peripheral vision. Your peripheral vision is part of your vision, but it is not as clear as your central gaze is. You may have experienced seeing moving from the corner of your eye, yet when you look in that direction, you don’t see anything of note.
Your peripheral vision is not clear or focused, and you believe it or not, your brain knows this too. If you see something unclear from the corner of your eye and assume it was a person standing there, then this may be because your brain is programmed to make sense of what your eyes see, and it may have made you see someone standing there when it actually may just have been a flash of light.
The celebrity example
Look at the GIF below. There is a cross in between and the faces of two celebrities side by side. Focus on the cross, while the pictures of the famous people change. While you concentrate on the cross, you may see that the images of the celebrities are turning in to a grotesque monster like pictures. Are the pictures twisted in some way?
The truth is, your brain is not seeing any of the pictures because you have fixated your vision on the cross and not on the faces.
Your mind will try and connect the dots of all it can see and will end up making an unrealistic portrayal of the actor’s face
t is made even worse by the constant and speedy changing of pictures. Your brain sees one face, and before it can fully detail it from your peripheral vision, another face appears, and before that face can be examined to a given point, it switches again.
Your brain does the easiest thing and merges the small details it picked up from each face to make a mixed-up monster-like face. If you look at any of the celebrity pictures, you will see your favorite actors as they’ve always been and not like some strange creature.