We see with our brains

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series The Brain Rules.

Working my way through John Medina’s Brain Rules, I’ve been skipping around rather than following numerical order. The rules are a set of concepts, not a recipe.

Garr Reynolds made today’s choice easy— rule 10, “Vision trumps all other senses.” Reynolds posted about brain rules and presentations. Here’s a presentation he put together for three of Medina’s rules:


It’s good to keep in mind (no pun intended) that we don’t see with our eyes, we see with our brains. We don’t have a little movie screen inside our heads. Some of the things that Medina points out:

  • Specialized cells in the retina respond to particular aspects of the incoming photons. Some discern only outlines or edges, some only motion, and so on.
  • Similar specialization occurs in the visual cortex. According to Medina, one region responds to a line tilted at 40 degrees but not a line tilted at 45.
  • Far from being a camera, the brain deconstructs incoming information, processes it through filters, and then reconstructs “what it thinks it sees. Or what it thinks you should see.”
In this series...<< Previous post<< Previous post Next post >>