How often have you heard phrases such as ‘Seeing is believing’ or ‘Perception is reality’. Our perception is our reality and fortunately shared by many other people. However, everything we see is not necessarily interpreted in the brain correctly and why we sometimes see visual illusions. It is believed that only about 10% of the information received from the eye is used to create our view of what we see. The rest of the information is received from our senses; smell, touch, hearing, our memory, preconditions hard wired from birth and no doubt other factors that we have not yet discovered. It uses this other information in part to verify what we are seeing but also to make up for weaknesses in the eyes ability to see things. In other words it takes short cuts to construct meaning from what can be useless information.
For example, the eye cannot take in information about objects that move above a certain speed, so the brain uses all the information it has available to predict it’s motion. This has profound implications in sports such as cricket, golf, tennis and shooting etc. You will have heard the phrase ‘he has got an eye for the ball’. Some people have a natural ability to use all the information they see to perform to a higher level. Others need to train hard to develop the skills required. However, we now know enough about sports vision and the brains ability to adapt from experience to develop specific eye training programmes to enhance sports people’s abilities. So, now you can go to a new type of gym to improve your ability to anticipate, concentrate and make quicker decisions - the eye gym!
Each month, just for fun, we will include a feature on visual illusions and visual games. It is partly through understand how we see illusions that we can train the brains ability to use the information from our eye better. We will then start to add features on eye training. Just click on the features of interest below.