Re: PHILOSOPHY: Perception of Reality? Boundry of self? (Was: Reality)

Mark Grant (
Sat, 8 Feb 1997 13:23:08 +0000

On Mon, 3 Feb 1997, Guru George wrote:

> So what does this processed data look like then?

The world you *think* you're seeing, which is really just a data
structure. A good demonstration of this comes from experiments where
computers are programmed to change the displayed text when your eyes are
jumping from one place to another in a saccade. We seem to build up this
data structure inside our brains and only update it when we see movement,
but deactivate the movement-detectors when we move our eyes. Hence if the
text changes when your eyes are in motion we still 'see' the same text on
the screen until we examine it closely and suddenly realise that it's
changed. I found this a real shock the first time, but it's happened to me
so often now that I just find it annoying.

Another demonstration comes from the experiences of psychedelic users, who
(AFAIR) report that the objects they see are far more likely to move
around or change into something different than, say, for the perceived
world to split up into squares and zoom around their field of view as we
might expect if we were just seeing a pixel image from the retina.
Changing a pixel-image of a plant-pot into a pixel-image of an elephant
would be hard work, but simply changing the object description in our data
structure from 'plant-pot' to 'elephant' or changing the coordinates in
space is easy.


|Mark Grant M.A., U.L.C. EMAIL: |