Neuroscientists from the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota have found that the first area in the cortex of the human brain that receives information from the eyes processes the perceived size, rather than the actual size, of an object.
"Our eyes only tell us part of what we need to be able to see. The other part is done by the brain, taking the input from the eyes and making guesses or inferences about whats out there in the enviro You cant always trust your eyes. nment. Usually these inferences are very accurate, but sometimes they lead us astray in the form of visual illusions," said Scott Murray, a UW assistant psychology professor and lead author of a study published in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience.
Murray and his Minnesota colleagues, Huseyin Boyaci and Daniel Kersten, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see how the brain processes the size of objects when faced with an illusion such as the long-known moon illusion. For centuries it has been known that the moon, while rising, looks huge when it is near the horizon and smaller when high in the sky. It is in reality always the same size.
Joel Schwarz | EurekAlert!
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