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At the edge of vision: Struggling to make sense of our cluttered world
Credit: Sam Saunders
As you’re driving to work along a busy road, your eyes on the traffic lights ahead, hoping they won’t turn to red, you pass signs warning of roadworks, ads on bus shelters… Suddenly a dog runs out in front of you. What are your chances of seeing it before it’s too late?
Even with 20/20 vision in broad daylight on a clear day, our peripheral vision can be surprisingly poor, particularly when the scene in front of us is cluttered. Now, scientists at the University of Cambridge, UK, Northeastern University, Boston, USA, and Queensland Brain Institute, Brisbane, Australia, believe they are a step closer to understanding why this is.
Image: Focus on the green spot. Without moving your eyes, you should be able to identify the letter ‘A’ on the left side of the display; the same letter is almost impossible to see on the right side of the display.
In a study published recently in the journal Current Biology, Dr Harrison and Professor Peter Bex from Northeastern University have shed new light on how constraints in the brain limit our peripheral vision.
Adapted from University of Cambridge News
Posted on 17/12/2015
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