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Lost in the periphery

Visual grasp of scenes goes AWOL around the edges

By
11:00am, August 18, 2011

A new kind of visual illusion confirms that people are not masters of perception. Observers are oblivious to peripheral visions of a woman’s face dissolving into a fountain, a stroller becoming a blob, and windows melding into trees, researchers report online August 14 in Nature Neuroscience.

By studying these visual oversights, scientists hope to understand how the brain culls the flood of visual data that constantly streams into the eyes.

Jeremy Freeman of New York University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Eero Simoncelli, also of NYU, started the project by developing a mathematical description of how information moves th

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