Novel cues drive animal behavior; our thirst for novelty begins in the eye itself, scientists say
Researchers at Harvard University have found evidence that the retina actively seeks novel features in the visual environment, dynamically adjusting its processing in order to seek the unusual while ignoring the commonplace. The scientists report in this weeks issue of the journal Nature on their finding that this principle of novelty-detection operates in many visual environments.
"Apparently our thirst for novelty begins in the eye itself," says Markus Meister, the Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Harvards Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "Our eyes report the visual world to the brain, but not very faithfully. Instead, the retina creates a cartoonists sketch of the visual scene, highlighting key features while suppressing the less interesting regions."
Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
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