The Reading: Visual Intelligence
The idea of putting the physical body in situations where that the brain makes up reality is really interesting. I think we all have had that feeling when one fly is buzzing around us but we sense that there is a swam. I tried the experiment with the three touches on my boyfriend’s arm and he was officially convinced that I had evenly spaced the taps!
In the reading we learn that the brain’s somatosensory cortex has a map of the touch sensations for each section of the body- it has a special spot for recoding the feelings of the hands or the lips. But could it have room for peripheral objects? If you scanned my somatosensory cortex, would you also see sensory information from my bicycle or my car? After all, when driving a vehicle or bike, the device becomes an extension of your body, and the motor skills to control it drift into periphery. I had one experience on a long road trip when, disoriented from driving, I pulled into a parking space and hit the concrete barricade in front of me, cracking the front bumper. My physical body was shaken no more than a typical stop, but I swear I felt real pain on the outside of my arms –that somehow the car was simply an extension of my body and I had just hit the concrete barricade myself!
I started to research crazy mind tricks like this, and I found this fun video illustrating this:
Also, there will be a new show on National Geographic Channel in October that explains and exploits the brain’s optical illusions: Check out their Flash site: