Neurotypical Perception Defects / Inferred Images, Social Filters

Humans rely more on ‘inferred’ visual objects than ‘real’ ones

May 16, 2017
Humans treat ‘inferred’ visual objects generated by the brain as more reliable than external images from the real world, according to new research.
“In such situations with the blind spot, the brain ‘fills in’ the missing information from its surroundings, resulting in no apparent difference in what we see,” says senior author Professor Peter König, from the University of Osnabrück’s Institute of Cognitive Science. “While this fill-in is normally accurate enough, it is mostly unreliable because no actual information from the real world ever reaches the brain. We wanted to find out if we typically handle this filled-in information differently to real, direct sensory information, or whether we treat it as equal.”

Visual thinkers are all too aware of this reality deficit in the “typical” perception of reality; I can’t say that the mechanism described here is the “cause” of discrepancies between “typical” perception and the greatly enhanced perception of visually-oriented brains, but it does point out that the typical human brain has evolved “short cuts” that result in varying accuracy in the  perception of the environment. This deficit, combined with de facto “magical-social” thinking has dire consequences for survival.


Article in Science Daily:

Original Paper with figures, charts: 10.7554/eLife.21761

Posts on inattentional blindness:


6 thoughts on “Neurotypical Perception Defects / Inferred Images, Social Filters

    • Perhaps “observational” abilities can be improved in individual humans, but modern human social conditions have made the “original” physiological “blind spot” into a socio-cultural imperitive! How does a society control conformity to its beliefs without being able to impose and cultivate a “supernatural” reality that defies “natural reality”? It merely supplies the “code” for filling in the “inferrence gap” with images of magical explanations controlled by the power elite. The effect is so effective, that impossible scenanarios ARE PREFERED over logical, rational, mathematical or scientific demonstrations of how the universe works! The question that attracts me, is what makes some individuals “immune” to this problem? Do visual thinkers have a different visual system and literally “see” reality (lack a blind spot; or sensory info actually makes it to the brain, bypassing the inferrence problem) or has the “modern neotenic social human” been selected genetically to rely totally on inference? Hmmm…


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