Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perceptual Adaptation-(Amanda Stallard)

Perceptual adaptation is when the brain accounts for differences in perception and appropriately adapts to the stimuli.  The brain plays a huge role in visual perception and it constantly has to adapt to changes that are being received.  The images that we see are actually upside down and our brain has adapted to reverse the image to become right side up.  There have been many theories that when we are born we actually see upside down until we can train our brain to flip the images to become right side up.  I found this theory to be really intriguing that we can train our brains to flip images so that we can the world around us in the correct way.  One study that was conducted by George M. Stratton proved the theory that we can train our brains can adapt to change by using reversing telescope goggles.  The experiment was conducted using a test subject that had to wear reversing telescope goggles for eight consecutive days. It was difficult for the test subject during the first three days to conduct everyday tasks because the images were all inverted.  On day four the subject noticed that images were see as right side up and not upside down.  Then on day five the subject noticed that images began to appear upside when the subject concentrated on a specific stimulus, but when the subject was not concentrating on a particular stimulus objects would become right-side up again. When the eight days were over the subject removed the reversing goggles and their vision was
returned to normal.  The ability of the brain to account for the difference when perception is slightly altered helps humans to adapt to their environment so that we can survive (1).

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perceptual_Adaptation.

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