Half of our brain’s capacity, is utilised in seeing and interpreting the world we live in. It is our brain, that see’s, not our eyes. Your eyes send over forty million sensory inputs per second to your brain, every second.
You possess two classes of ganglion cells which communicate with different parts of the brain. The oldest large cell subdivision is a system we share with mammals. It is a system which is colour blind, is highly sensitive to brightness, yet transfer information quickly. It allows us to perceive motion, space, depth and position. The ability to recognise colour, objects, faces and complex detail is limited to primates only and seems to have evolved later.
To demonstrate this evolutionary system, I have created a Kanizsa rectangle using shades of grey. You can see how sensitive this visual system is as I am using only 5% of black, to create this illusion.
What you are perceiving is luminance or lightness. You are actually seeing how sensitive you are to light. Understanding luminance is important as it helps us perceive depth, dimension, movement and space.
Understanding luminance helps you understand the great artists, many of whom had a highly developed sense of value or contrast in their work.
Our brain is an exceptional organism. If as seems possible, we developed a second visual system, to complement an ancient system of visual intelligence, then what is the true potential of the human brain.
My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the Digital Circus.