Thursday, March 13, 2008

Scientists "see" ghosts

The reason that appearances, enemy images, and like phantoms lurking in the shadows May by scientists.

A team from University College London found that when we look around in a poorly lit context, it can fool our brains in things that are not really there.

Although no one has done a systematic study of the ghost, neuroscientists are convinced they are all in the mind ", and in the light of the new work, it seems not so surprising that they seem most likely to see in" spooky "scanty - Lit circumstances

The journal PLoS Computational Biology, Prof. Li Zhao Ping and her colleagues say that the surrounding context of what we see, everything is important - sometimes overwhelming evidence gathered by our eyes and we even imagine things.

They were surprised when they find that a vague background context has more influence on what we see, as someone who is bright and well defined, and speculate that this may explain the power of abstract art and the reason why we can see vivid details in the vague brush strokes from impressionist paintings.

"The paintings are vague in the details, but I speculate that perhaps because of this vagueness viewers are free to live their imagination to fill in the details," said Prof. Zhao Ping, takes her first name as her pen scientific name - Li Is such a common name, it can lead to an identity crisis for Chinese scientists.

"Everything we see is a hallucination caused by the virtual-reality machine in our head," commented Professor Mike Morgan from the City University in London.

"Normally, these hallucinations veto by the information coming through our senses, so we can call perception" controlled hallucination ".

"But if the input is not clear can be all sorts of things, like the faces de Quincy saw in the clouds and carpets. There are hundreds of faces hidden in the soil of structured platforms at subway station Euston, if you look for . "

To the power of the urgent context, 18 observers were from the UCL team to concentrate on the center of a black screen. Each time a buzzer sounded they pressed one of two buttons to record or not, whether they just saw a small, dark, grey 'target' rectangle in the middle of the screen. It seems not every time, but when it appears, for which only 80 milliseconds (80 one-thousandth of a second).

"People saw the target much more often if it appeared in the middle of a vertical line of similar-looking, grey rectangles, in comparison to when it appears in the middle of a pattern of bright, white rectangles. Yourself registered" see "the target If it is not really there, "says Prof. Zhao Ping.

"This is because the people psychologically better prepared to see a bit vague, when the surrounding context is also vague. It made sense for them to see - so that what happened. If the objective is not with the Expectations that the surrounding context, you saw it much less frequently.

"Illusionists were alive to this phenomenon for years," Prof. Zhao Ping "If you see, they throw a ball into the air, followed by a second ball, and then a third ball, the" magic "disappears, you ask, how they did it.

"In truth, there is often no third ball - it is not only our brain is fooled by the context, tell us that we really see three balls in the air launched one after the other."

"Contrary to what one might expect, it is a rather vague as a bright and clearly visible context strong that most of our convictions to allow the evidence and fill in the blanks."

This may also be why more monsters lurking in the shadows. "In the shadow of a lot of things are vague seen (and not as clear), that is more of the filling-in," says Prof. Zhao Ping.