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Tag: optical illusions

Cognitive Science of the Real-time Web

Optical Illusion

I keep coming across bits and pieces of the picture of the human factors that will make up the real time web. This morning’s piece came from “Scientific American Mind.” On Sunday mornings I like to visit my local newsstand and look at magazines. Today it was the New York Review of Books for Samantha Power’s article on “The Democrats & National Security” and Scientific American for an article on “The Power of Stories.”

The question I’ve been thinking about is: what’s the minimum speed of the real-time web to create a smooth perceptual flow and enable natural conversation? This quote puts a piece in place:

The brain takes nearly one tenth of a second to consciously register a scene. But the scenery changes far more quickly than that when we move. How does our brain cope? By constantly predicting the future, posits Mark Changizi. This ability explains many visual illusions — The extra motion results from your brain estimating where the ellipses will be in several milliseconds.

The optical illusion at the top of this post works as follows: concentrate your attention on the dot in the center and then move your head toward the screen. And then pull back from the screen. There’s some extra perceptible motion that occurs. That’s the mind projecting future position.

You can view other optical illusions and some explanations here.

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