Hiatus

Some of you might have noticed that I haven’t posted in the last couple of weeks.

A lot of stuff is happening at the moment, as I’m in the final run up to final exams, writing my dissertation and expecting the birth of my son.

As a result I’m putting this little project on hiatus for a couple months so I can get everything else finished. When I come back I’m going to try and do a complete restructuring of the site to make past posts more accessible.

Hopefully it’ll mean that this blog can actually be used as an easily navigable resource, rather than a blog that might on occassion make interesting reading.

I have a post or two already half drafted so I might put them out when I have the time, otherwise if anyone wants to throw a guest post this way to keep the site mildly active I would greatly appreciate it.

 

Thanks everyone for following so far, I’ll see you in a couple months!

Believing is Not Seeing: Visual Science and Reality part 2

Let’s get this straight from the off. You don’t see nearly as much as you think you do. In fact you barely see anything. You may think this is an exaggeration but I’m being serious. And I’ll explain why.

Before we start you should read the first post in this series.

Firstly you don’t see smooth motions in the world around you. The neurons in your eyes can’t work that fast (more…)

Believing is Not Seeing: Visual Science and Reality part 1

I’ve had to break this post down into two posts as it got a bit long.

So before I start on this bit I want everyone reading to take part in a very small experiment:

Put a hand over your left eye so you can’t see anything with it. Now lean back from the computer screen and stare at the cross on the left in the image below.

As you stare at the cross, move closer to the image (you can get pretty close).

(more…)

Complicatedly Colourful: Vision Science

The picture I’ve put up is one of a mouse retina. The green dots are cells that have been stained with a fluorescent dye. I’m showing you this partly to show you how many cells there are in a retina (only some of the cells are stained, and humans have even more than mice). It’s also partly to (more…)

Sight: The Science of Vision

Before I start I’m going to give you a couple of references to some relevant posts I have already made/reblogged:

The basics of sensory science

The causes of sensation – very relevant to this post

A reblogged think on colours and some other issues

If anyone still wants to they can vote in the poll on the sidebar!

OK let’s get started. (more…)

The Skin is Also a Map

I was originally going to start posting on the actual senses with vision, but this is a far better way to go about it!

I’ve had a couple comments on patterns of activity defining the senses. I’m going to use our sense of touch to point out that it isn’t really the patterns of activity that define a sense, but where that activity comes from, and where it goes to.

He's not a freak! He's a Homunculus...

(more…)

The Importance Of Change

How would you define time?

Google defines it as (more…)

The Key to the Senses: Transduction

Here’s probably the most basic question in all of sensory neuroscience (the study of the senses). How does a ray of light enter our nervous system, to eventually become something that we see? How in fact does anything external (anything we touch, smell, taste, hear or see) get turned into something internal (some kind of signal in the brain that tells us to sense something).

The answer is simple, so simple in fact that it is one word: (more…)

Just a quick reblog for anyone who still has doubts about evolution. A small recommendation.

The Brain and Reality

Prepare yourself for a weird post.

Forget everything you know about the world and how it looks. Everything you have ever seen, everything you have ever heard, even everything you have ever felt and smelt, is not real. It’s all just pretend. I’m not joking either, everything you have ever experienced has been made up. (more…)