perception

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Tag archives for perception

For any animal, it pays to be able to spot other animals in order to find mates and companions and to avoid predators. Fortunately, many animals move in a distinct way, combining great flexibility with the constraints of a rigid skeleton – that sets them apart from inanimate objects like speeding trains or flying balls.…

The nice thing about writing features is that they’re often solicited miles in advance so I can write something, totally forget about it and then be surprised when I open my weekly copy of New Scientist to find my name in a byline. This week’s issue has a feature by me entitled “Beyond east and…

The video above seems completely unremarkable at first – man walks down a corridor, navigating his way around easily visible and conspicuous obstacles. But it’s far from an easy task; in fact, it should be nigh-impossible. The man, known only as TN, is totally blind. His inability to see stems from a failure in his…

Pain in the eye of the beholder

It goes without saying that we are capable of noticing changes to our bodies, but it’s perhaps less obvious that the way we perceive our bodies can affect them physically. The two-way nature of this link, between physicality and perception, has been dramatically demonstrated by a new study of people with chronic hand pain. Lorimer…

Modern brain-scanning technology allows us to measure a person’s brain activity on the fly and visualise the various parts of their brain as they switch on and off. But imagine being able to literally see what someone else is thinking – to be able to convert measurements of brain activity into actual images. It’s a…