Friday, July 29, 2016

The Blind Spot

This morning, on my way to work, I was reminded of a fun piece of human physiology. The guy in front of me had two Apple stickers on the back of his car, one on each side of the license plate. (You know, those free stickers that come with any new Apple device that I end up either throwing away or throwing in a drawer.) I glanced at my rearview mirror and realized one of the Apple stickers had disappeared.

Don't worry, that's not an alarming experience. You have a literal blind spot - a part of your retina with no photoreceptors - because this is where the optic nerve connects.

Your brain fills in missing information with the surrounding pattern (this is why you generally don't notice the blind spot). So small items that break up that pattern can seemingly disappear if you look in the right place.

Here's a demonstration of the blind spot, as well as some other "eye tricks":

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