How brain controls vision and what we miss to see

New York, May 11 (IANS) A team of US researchers has come up with a rough map of part of the brain that controls vision and leaves things out even when they are plainly in sight.

The frontal cortex is often seen as our “thinking cap,” associated with thinking and making decisions. But it’s not commonly connected with vision.

“Some people believe that the frontal cortex is not involved. The new research adds to previous evidence that it is,” said Dobromir Rahnev, psychologist at Georgia Institute of Technology.

“The ‘thinking cap’ of the brain controls and oversees the whole process, making it as essential to how we see as those other areas,” Rahnev explained.

How that works also accounts for why we sometimes miss things right in front of us.

“We feel that our vision is like a camera, but that is utterly wrong,” Rahnev said.

Our brains aren’t just seeing, they’re actively constructing the visual scene and making decisions about it.

Sometimes the frontal cortex is not expecting to see something so although it’s in plain sight, it blots it out of consciousness, said the team that involved researchers from the University of California-Berkeley.

The frontal cortex sends a signal to move your attention onto the object you select.

“It does some of the combining with other information, and then it’s probably the primary evaluator of what you think you saw,” Rahnev noted.

The findings were published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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