Print Story Observation
By codemonkey uk (Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:32:05 PM EST) (all tags)
The brain is a funny thing. The way human vision works is amazing. When you look around, your eye doesn't move smoothly, it moves in short sharp steps and stops. When the sys is in movement, the brain ignores the signals from the light receptors in the eye, and the mental image of the world is paused for a fraction of a second.

One of the consequences of that is that, if you look at yourself in the mirror, and flick your gaze back and forth between the left and right eye, you don't actually see the movement of your own eyes.


If you use a webcam or front facing phone camera, the latency introduced by the electronics means you can actually observe the movement of your eyes as you do it.

Try it out!


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Observation | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
for real, dude. by the mariner (4.00 / 3) #1 Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:06:37 PM EST
like, did you ever look at your hand? you know, i mean... like, really look at it? and just, like, move your fingers around?

it's weird. you know if you go to the fish market and the dude just brought in the catch and it's like all flapping around and their eyes are rolling around or like live octopus... and they're all wriggling and shit. it's kind of creepy... but like, your hand is all moving around like that too and it totally doesn't creep you out. you know, people never really think about it like that but it's pretty freaky.

man, don't even get me started on webcams. that's like so weird. you know, like if you set on thirty second delay and watch yourself thirty seconds ago and you're all like, woah, i did that? like, try spinning in an office chair and when you stop and stand up and watch yourself. it's like a totally different person, but it's you. you know, like you walk around, but it's not like you walk. it's like you're in a puppet show, but the puppet is you.

oh man, and fans. fans, man. don't get me started about fans...

I will have by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 02:15:50 AM EST
...whatever both of you have been having

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
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Either psylocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:19:36 AM EST
I have no idea if I spelled those properly.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

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I seem to have slow eyes by lm (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:14:46 AM EST
I can't flick them fast enough to not see them move in the mirror.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
Interesting by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:33:43 AM EST
More info on saccadic masking here:

It's possible your brain is doing something brains are very good at doing: Filling in missing information. You know your eyes are moving, you can feel the movement. So your brain lets you think you see the movement.

Compare the mirror experience with the smartphone/webcam, the lack of visible movement in a mirror may become more obvious after you see the actual movement in the video feed.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.

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Or maybe I just don't flick my eyes fast enough by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:56:17 AM EST
The wiki article suggests that saccadic masking only happens during very short spans of time.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
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Observation | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)