Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Reality of Ferrets

So a scientist decides to set up an experiment on how a brain processes visual information. Test subjects: ferrets. Dr. Michael Weliky studied the brains of ferrets as they were subjected to three different sets of stimuli: a dark room, white noise static, and repeated viewings of The Matrix. Personally, I can't think of a better movie for testing how reality is percieved. The experiments came up with some interesting conclusions:

1. Adult brains operate at 80% functionality as an idling state even when in a dark room, recieving no visual input. It is thought that this might be the state at which conceptions of reality are formed. It might also explain why infant brains, which do not run this background functionality, find peek-a-boo so endlessly fascinating.

2. That at least this one scientist has a sense of irony for selecting a brain twisting movie about the reality of reality to test perception of reality.

Via Virginia Postrel

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