You Experience Reality Only In Snapshots

By Jenny Xu | 9 years ago

It’s what scientists have long suspected: like your circadian rhythm in which you go through a sleep-wake cycle, your brain also operates in a similar cyclic manner, but faster. The world you think you see isn’t as it seems.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow wanted to find out whether recurrent neural activities in our brains, or brain oscillations, affect brain function by studying brain rhythms associated with the visual cortex showed that the cyclic pattern of the brain oscillations correspond to the underlying brainwaves. Therefore, there is rhythmicity in both your brain activity and function, which supports the hypothesis that we experience the world in “discrete snapshots determined by the cycles of brain rhythms.”

So, moving past all of the fancy schmancy scientific vocabulary, it pretty much means that your brain activity is switching on and off in intervals faster than an over excited tourist in the middle of Times Square.

After taking as many pictures as quickly as his or her index finger can function (using the panoramic dork hat above would certainly make life easier), the tourist goes home and photoshops them into one huge panorama. That’s what your brain is doing, albeit so fast that you don’t even realize it, and without the occasional pauses to shriek “Ohmigawd!” over having just seen the sign for M&M World.

This might explain a lot of things, like, why a lot of people get headaches while watching 3D movies. But it also gives us a lot to think about, like, could there be things that we are missing? Looks like Eoin Colfer and his techno-faeries were always just one step ahead of us.