Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Perceiving Motion - Deer in the Head Lights

We are all familiar with the fight or flight survival instinct and an analogy commonly used for this scenario is the deer in the headlights example. Created because more often than not, when deer are crossing the road as a car is driving by, they freeze and stare into the headlights before moving and running away.

In this video, as a cross country race is underway a herd of deer run through the crowd and one deer collides into a runner.

Perceiving Motion

Information and Data: Relating to the concept of perceiving motion in an environment, in this scenario the deer are alarmed by the appearing stampede of cross country runners. The motion of the runners have captured the deer's attention and has triggered the flight response. Since a deer is an animal of prey, their focus of perception is to be on constant alert for any signs of danger. According to Lennie Rue a wildlife photographer, "A deer's eye is geared to detect motion, the slightest motion, and to move while the subject is in the deer's range of vision is to ensure detection."

Assumptions: In this situation what I believe has happened was that the overwhelming emotion of fear caused impaired the deer’s vision. Focusing all of its attention on running away and staying close to his herd, it missed the detection of the runner and ran straight into him.

Blind man completes NYC 5k with his seeing eye dog

Question at issue: How is a man without sight able to run on uneven terrain and complete a race without being able to see where he is going?

Tom Panek was always a runner but he wasn’t always blind. When he first lost his site, he was afraid to run because it initially seemed impossible. When he started running again he had a friend act as a guide and assist him on runs; however, Tom felt that he didn’t have the same freedom as he once did and wanted to explore more options. With the assistance of a guide dog, Tom feels that he has his independence back and is able to feel safe doing an activity that he has always loved to do. Gus, Tom’s guide dog, is trained to act as Tom’s eyes and treats his safety as his number one priority. Since Tom doesn’t have the ability to see or perceive motion at all he has to entirely put his complete trust in Gus to work as his eyes. While running, Gus is looking for overhead and ground level obstacles that could potentially impede Tom’s safety. They communicate through tugs at the leash, alerting their owner to changes in elevation or potential tripping hazards, and a trust system.  Working as a normal seeing eye dog just at a faster pace Gus has given Tom his freedom back.

Implications/Consequences: There are many obvious implications that come along with this. Tom is forced to run at a much slower pace and has to be extra cautionary in large groups of people. Tom and Gus completed their first race together in New York City’s 5 miler. Although they made frequent safety pit stops they were able to cross the finish line together!

Although Tom lost his sense of sight, he has able to “see” through Gus. Through slight tugs and pulls at the leash Tom and Gus work together to create a communication to help Tom “see”.

Binaural Hearing

Just like how we have binocular sight we have binaural hearing. Binaural hearing allows us to figure out which way a sound is coming from. Unknowingly we turn our heads to direct our ears to capture sound waves in the pinna (outermost, visible part of the ear) and into our ear canal. To get the effect of binaural hearing companies have designed microphones with an ear that is looks and is flexible like ours. But, how do we know whether a sound came from the left or right of us? There is a cue called interaural time difference, the difference in time it takes a sound to reach both ears. Other cues to help us locate sound (not in front) is by loudness as well. Say a dog barked to your right it would be louder in that ear compared to your left. The video above explains binaural audio/hearing, as well as plays an example of it and other interesting information, highly recommend watching it.

Monocular Cues & Illusions

At Disney's Animal Kingdom Park a new land recently opened "Pandora." It is based off of James Cameron's movie Avatar. Inside the park it is a world of color and floating islands! Above is a picture from the queue line for their ride Passages of Flight. As you can see the object that looks closest to us is the plant on the right hand side, and the furthest away is in between the two archways. We know that the plant is the closest since it covers everything behind it, this is known as occlusion. Relative size also occurs which is where the arches in the back look smaller than the ones in front. Since this land is not from our world we can assume that the rock formations in the back are mountains and that they are rather large. Disney tries to achieve the atmospheric perspective by creating a slight haze of the objects further away to create the illusion that the mountains in the back are further away. In reality they are probably a few hundred feet away.       

Monocular Cues

The lecture on depth perception reminded me of this photo I took at the bay in North Cape May. It shows examples of monocular cues, like the photo of the railroad tracks we viewed in class.

The walkway in the center appears to decrease in size as it approaches the horizon, when in reality we know that it is because it is farther away, called perspective convergence. The walkway and objects surrounding it seem to converge at its end point, the jetty in this case.

The supportive wood structures on the sides of the walkway appear to become increasingly closer together as they approach the horizon, called texture gradient. The linear wood structures above the pipe appear to be doing the same. The distance between them appears to decrease as it reaches farther away from our point of view.

Lastly, although we know the jetty rocks are bigger than the wooden structures, the rocks appear much smaller. This is because they are farther away, called relative size. We know they are farther away, because they are right below the horizon, higher in our field of vision, called relative height.

Divided Attention: Roxanne Canfield Cite Post #3

Despite the belief many hold that they can pay attention to two things at once, the fact of the matter is that we cannot efficiently. Our ability to divide attention is poor, as discussed in class, for when we attempt to focus on two things at once, the amount we actually process is limited. An example of the latter is linked below, in which two faces of celebrities will be presented at once and then change to another pair. Try it!

Upon focusing on the cross in the center of the photo, the details once noticed from each celebrity's face become blurred. Eventually, I perceived the faces to morph into alien-like faces with strange features, as the faces presented have some opposite features. When the faces are presented and one tries to pay attention to both simultaneously, I can infer that result is comical but revealing; there is simply too much information to be accurately processed. The implications of this concept are that we can pass stricter laws on cell phone use while operating a vehicle, as it is proven that attempting to focus on two things at once causes poor ability to process the appropriate amount of information from either task, resulting in worse driving. 

New Hearing Aids Available in Germany

After learning about how our hearing works in class, I found a video discussing a new German company on the rise that develops advanced hearing aids.
The company developed a new hearing aid that works just like most hearing aids, but is much more aesthetically pleasing than most hearing aids we are used to seeing. Their aim is to adhere to the wants of young people in need of hearing aids, but who do not want to feel stigmatized since society typically associates hearing aids more so with the elderly than the youth. These hearing aids are so sleek and so small that they are barely visible in the ear when worn, making it very appealing to many people. It can be ordered online, making it easily accessible, and then is adjusted by an expert in person. The product can even connect to your phone through an app that allows you to adjust its settings as if they are headphones; this further helps people forget they are even wearing a hearing aid, it is almost like wearing an accessory.

Here is a link to the video:

Infrasound in Horror Movies: Roxanne Canfield Site Post #2

Have you ever wondered why horror movies sometimes give you an uneasy, sickening feeling, even when nothing necessarily frightening is occurring? Some directors use the anticipation of jump scares, dark scenery, or, in some cases, infrasound. Infrasound is a frequency of sound that exists in the lower ranges, usually 20 Hz or less. This tone is typically not heard by most listeners, but still picked up on, causing one to experience vibrating sensations on the eyes (causing distorted vision), headaches, and subsequently nausea.

Today in class, after learning about some frequencies we can't hear, I decided to delve further and discovered this video. Below is a link that will play infrasound.

After "listening" to this video for several minutes, I did begin to experience its effects. Although I could not hear anything, I felt a pressure and slight ache in my temples and blurred vision. The implications of these tones are that they can be utilized to manipulate the listeners to feel a certain way without knowledge of any outside force affecting them. For example, not only can they be used in horror films, but perhaps used as a means to inflict pain to individuals if the tone is low enough in frequency. From my point of view, these frequencies had effects on me, though I wonder if certain individuals are more susceptible to its effects than others.

Virtual Haircut: Roxanne Canfield Cite Post #1

If sounds have ever made you "tingle," you may have experienced ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). Below is a link that will give you such an experience, in which the sounds will make you feel as if you are receiving an actual haircut! (Wear headphones!)

When I first put on my headphones, I was hesitant to believe that the video would be convincing. Though, as soon as the "barber" began using certain tools such as the buzzer, I began to experience a tickling sensation around my neck and a tingling sensation on my scalp. Not only was this extremely strange, but it was somewhat relaxing! Despite the fact that there is not a lot of research on ASMR, I can infer that this relates to concepts discussed in class and assume that this is an example of how our brain "fills in" what it believes it should be experiencing. The implications of this phenomenon are that ASMR can be used for people with anxiety, as it tends to have relaxing and soothing qualities that can be immediately accessed by someone experiencing distressing symptoms if they have a phone at hand. 

Kennedy Post #1

Kennedy Hubbard
Cite Post #1

This is an example of Depth and Size. When I first saw this I didn’t believe it. There was no way my mind could trick me like this. I tried it and I had to show my friends and now want to share it with the 

Elements of Thought:

            Question at hand: Is it true? And if so, how?
                        - Try it for yourself and it works because of Pictorial Cues.
This could comes from idea of Pictorial Cues. Specifically texture gradient. As the distance of the image changes so does our perception of the picture as a whole. 

Fractal Zoom

Fractals are infinite patterns which are found everywhere in nature. They show that there is order in chaos, and in a way, they are the common ground between science and spiritualism. In biology, cells under a microscope create unique patterns, and as you zoom closer and closer, more unique patterns emerge. Trees have fractals.

Watch this video of a fractal zoom for at least 30 seconds (although it works really well if you watch it for a whole minute). When you look away from the video, you will experience the motion aftereffect. After looking at the moving object for 30 seconds (the fractal zoom), look at a stationary object after and the object should look like it is moving in the opposite direction. In this case, it should look like it is moving away from you. Also, it works better if you watch it full screen.

I watched this fractal zoom in another class (Witches by Christine Farina) and experienced the motion aftereffect.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Virtual reality technology opens new doors of (spatial) perception

Within the past few months, using immersive technology in the lab has enabled researchers to study sound perception in realistic settings! Virtual reality was used to probe auditory special awareness in real-life-like studies. The experiment has somebody put on headgear that puts them into a parklike setting. They are then told that they will hear a sound, and they should turn their head in the direction they hear it coming from. While doing this, the experimenter (Travis Moore, in this case) manipulates two essential location cues. The first one is the difference in timing from when the sound wave reaches the person's ear (measured in millionths of a second.) The other is the difference in sound pressure levels registering in each ear.
What they found was a considerable variability in how much weight subjects' brains assign to each cue. This is important since we don't yet know how the process of integrating two cues plays out in real-world listening tasks. Technologies like the ones used in this study should help yield better hearing aids for the hearing impaired, more accurate diagnosing of auditory disorders, and a richer sound experience in video games. Perhaps we can make acoustics of simulation indistinguishable from the real world! If something like this does happen, I'm wondering how different it would be to watch a movie and have it sound like it's happening in real life. I'm thinking that would be really cool!J