The Blind Spot and the Imagination

March 15, 2007

One reader of this blog has alerted me to a web site, The Blind Spot Test, that has a demonstration that shows the viewer how to “see” their blind spot. The blind spot is a result of the spot on the retina in each eye where the optic nerve attaches the eye to the brain. At that spot there are no rods or cones to process light on the retina so there can be no perception in that particular spot.
The reason we do not aware of the blind spot at every moment is simply because the brain is constantly computing to fill the missing information with extrapolations from the surrounding retinal information. It is remarkable and amazing that our brains can perform this function with the consistency and accuracy that it does- well enough to not come to our awareness unless specifically pointed out.
This is interesting in terms of the imagination because it could be argued that it is the imagination that is responsible for the construction of the reality that fills the blank spots. Although this phenomenon has been used as a demonstration and proof by cyberneticists and philosophical constructivists like Heinz Von Foerster, Humberto Maturana, and Fransisco Varela, they discussed it as neurological processes that are part of a closed system.
Maybe the imagination is also part of a closed system. Certainly the imagination must have a neurological component because all mental activities do in human beings. Try the demonstrations at The Blind Spot Test and “see” for yourself the power of the imagination. The come back here and let us know what you think.

2 Responses to “The Blind Spot and the Imagination”


  1. that’s pretty wild!

  2. Jim Graham Says:

    I have tried this test before in a magazine… works well on my left eye, but my right eye is stigmatic… seems like it is always slightly moving… and I always see it with my right eye…it does not go away. hmmm, more information. I have noticed also that each of my eyes have a different color balance. Jim
    cool stuff…
    Thanks for commenting, Jim. Your experience is more evidence, perhaps of the unavoidable variablity in the construction of reality. Bob


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