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Most of the Mind Can’t Tell Fact from Fiction

Emotions influence our perception

The rational part of our mind knows that what we're looking at, or reading, isn't real. However, the perceptual areas of our brains are very closely connected to our emotions.

Emotions force us to interpret the world differently. Research reveals how fear can affect vision, moods can make us more or less susceptible to visual illusions, and desire can change the apparent size of goal-relevant objects.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Most of the Mind Can’t Tell Fact from Fiction

Most of the Mind Can’t Tell Fact from Fiction

http://nautil.us/blog/-most-of-the-mind-cant-tell-fact-from-fiction

nautil.us

3

Key Ideas

Fiction and the mind

Stories, fiction included, act as a kind of replacement for life. You can learn information from them very effortlessly. You'll also remember false information without realizing and will find fictional stories emotionally arousing.

The reason we react to fiction as though it were real is that our mind does not even realize that fiction is fiction.

Confusing fiction with reality

When stories are done well, they are like artificial sweeteners - they fool the mind into thinking we're consuming the real thing.

For example, children sometimes really believe that puppets are alive. Even animals sometimes react to pictures as if they are real things.

Emotions influence our perception

The rational part of our mind knows that what we're looking at, or reading, isn't real. However, the perceptual areas of our brains are very closely connected to our emotions.

Emotions force us to interpret the world differently. Research reveals how fear can affect vision, moods can make us more or less susceptible to visual illusions, and desire can change the apparent size of goal-relevant objects.

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This illustrates that the illusion is mostly driven by expectations. Our eyes find it difficult to track fast-moving objects. Looking at the ball is only possible when we can predict where it will be in the future.

Perception does not take place in the eyes

Although most participants experience an illusory effect during magic tricks, the eyes are not tricked. The conscious perception has been fooled by the illusion, but your eyes have not.

Lots of neural calculations are required before we can experience the world. Neural signals start in the retina, then it passes through different neural centers to the visual cortex and higher cortical areas, and eventually build a mental representation of the outside world. It takes about a tenth of a second for the light registered by the retina to become a visual perception. The neural delay means we perceive things at least a tenth of a second after they happened.

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Many deaf children born into hearing families live in a world unable to communicate properly. They are never exposed to abstract ideas such as "justice" or "global warming." Unless the parents learn sign language, the child's language access will be delayed or missing entirely.

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How Fame Alters Our Perceptions
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What influences our perception
  • What we pay attention to and context
  • Expectations and stereotypes 
  • Motivation. We tend to see what we want to see.
Motivated perception

It is the idea that we see what we want to see.

It’s similar to another concept — motivated reasoning, where we come to conclusions we’re predisposed to believe in.

Naive realism

It is the feeling that our perception of the world reflects the truth.

Of all our senses, we tend to trust our eyes the most. And we believe that the way we see the world is the way that the world really is.

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