Your brain is filling the blanks.  Don’t believe us?  Try this…

At any given moment, you are only seeing 10% of what you think you are seeing.  That means the other 90% of what appears in your visual field is being “generated” by your brain.  Some of that infill is being drawn from memory, and some of it is being drawn from other sensory experiences.

Usually in a workshop when we first share this information, people will be skeptical.  We seem to see the entire world in perfect detail, and since that illusion is so convincing, people can have a hard time believing that their vision is so imperfect.  At COVE, we engage participants in a number of exercises to prove that you only see a small portion of the world in front of you, but here’s a quick way to see how our brain can erase something from our field of vision entirely!

Have you ever asked yourself why you can’t see your nose?  Look straight ahead for three seconds.  No nose, right?  Now, close your left eye, and look as far left as you can with your open right eye.  There it is—your smelling organ jutting into view.  Now close your right eye and look to the far right with your open left eye.  The nose occludes your vision just as much.  And what happens now if you open both eyes and stare straight ahead.  No nose!  Your nose is mostly out of your field of vision when you look straight ahead, but rather than fill in that blank with what’s actually there, we erase our nose from view!

If you want to learn why this happens and what you can do to make sure you don’t miss hazards in the workplace because you’re filling the blanks, contact COVE about a workshop today! 

Kristin Zinkl

As COVE’s Marketing Manager, Kristin manages the day to day marketing activities and long term marketing strategy for the company. She is also responsible for creating the marketing campaign strategy that delivers Visual Literacy concepts and ideas across all promotional channels. With a focus on marketing, Kristin has worked in the safety consulting space for the past 12 years. Her efforts have helped spread new ideas and thinking around safety best practices and workplace safety improvements. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn


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