Sunday, April 02, 2006

Humans ignore the evidence of their own eyes to create a fictional stable world

Here is a writeup about research from Oxford University that was published in Current Biology on how the brain processes visual information, in particular what appears to be an assumption that it makes that works pretty well in the real world, but not in our developing computer-based virtual worlds (or "immersive reality" as it is called in the writeup).

I'll quote one portion that I particularly liked:
Commenting on the findings that people ignore the evidence of their own eyes, he cites Bayes, an eighteenth-century mathematician. ‘Bayes said that what we believe to be the state of the world is the product of two things: your prior assumptions and your sensory information. If your sensory information is very specific, you’ll go with that. But if it’s poor, or confusing, you’ll go with your prior assumption. That’s what seems to be happening here.’ In other words, the subjects’ belief that rooms stay the same size is so strong that it overrides all the usual cues from binocular disparity and motion parallax.
(Via Digg)

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