Our Senses Are More Like a Strobe Light Than a Video Feed


Article Image

We think of our sense perceptions as a constant inward flow, like a video feed. But recent research finds that in actuality, it operates on a different model, one more akin to a strobe light. More precisely, our hearing and vision are rhythmic pulsations taking place inside the brain.

“Recent evidence suggests that ongoing brain oscillations may be instrumental in binding and integrating multi-sensory signals,” the authors of this latest study write. Previous work proved that vision works this way. Now, researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, along with Italian colleagues, discovered that hearing does as well. Their results were published in the journal Current Biology.

When we survey a scene, the brain doesn’t pay attention to everything all at once. If it did, our ancestors wouldn’t have made it very far. They’d have been gobbled up by predators in no time, as they’d be constantly overwhelmed by sensory overload. Instead, the brain prioritizes certain things over others, mostly opportunities and threats. This helped our early ancestors survive and thrive, since it allowed us to reserve limited cognitive energy, by concentrating on what’s important.

Girl getting her hearing checked.

Auditory oscillations occur in patterns similar to vision. Credit: Getty Images.

Oscillation reserves brain resources, allowing for concentration to come in protracted periods. The strobing aspect allows the brain to weave together all the relevant data points, which are then put into a narrative arc, a format that’s easily understood and explainable to others. The results of these findings may help us better understand how humans perceive and interact…

Marcela
Follow Me

Marcela

COO at oneQube
COO @oneqube | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject | Let's Go #NYRangers
Marcela
Follow Me

More from Around the Web

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from our network of site partners.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest