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Sunday, April 20, 2014

get to know your brain
Get to know your brain

This Post By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher. Dorraine is a Professional Writer, a nature, wildlife and Bigfoot enthusiast who has written for many magazines. Dorraine conducts research, special interviews and more for The Crypto Crew. Get Dorraine's book The Book Of Blackthorne! 

How Your Mind Plays Tricks

5 Quirks of the Human Brain That Can Mess Up Your Perceptions

By Dorraine Fisher

As if there weren’t enough problems for those in the paranormal world trying to prove to others what’s real. As if there weren’t enough reasons for skeptics and naysayers to stay critical.

But when you’re on a quest for knowledge, it helps to have all the facts and all the roadblocks within your comprehension before you even start. And it’s especially true for sasquatch researchers. We need to know what could happen so we can make sure it doesn’t happen.

Before you even attempt to make a determination of what you’ve seen, you need to be aware that there are 5 key things that can mess up your perceptions. And you need to make doubly sure you understand these and can rule them out in any situation. So here goes:

    1. Pareidolia is the phenomenon in our brain that causes us to turn random visuals into something familiar. And we especially like to turn them into faces…even if those faces are distorted or unusual. We don’t really see with our eyes, we see with a part of our brain known as the visual cortex. And our brain, in an attempt to sort out something new or shocking that it sees, will attempt to relate it to something familiar. Faces are the most comforting and familiar thing to us, so naturally our brain chooses them to see…when maybe all we’re seeing is random objects.

    2. Slow motion perception is something we’ve all experienced at one time or another. It’s that strange feeling during a traumatic event that time is moving slower than regular time. No one really knows for sure what causes this phenomenon, but it is believed that, in an attempt of the brain to sort out what’s happening, it slows it down to a speed it can handle to break it all down, giving us the illusion of the event happening in slow motion. Though anyone else observing the event would see it in real time. It is believed that the more energy expended by neurons to process the event, the longer the time span will seem to the person experiencing it.
    This can seriously distort our idea of how much time lapsed during a paranormal encounter. Since you’re the one that had the experience, it seemed much longer to you, when it may have only been a few seconds.

    3. False memories are a real problem in cases of traumatic events. Our brains don’t like things to be incomplete. So if we don’t recall certain details of an event, our brain will attempt to create details to fill in the gaps. We’re not always geared to do this, but it’s important to write down all the details of the event right after it happens in order to keep things straight. And even then, you might find the details are a little sketchy. And the worse thing about false memories is that someone can actually create them for you through the power of suggestion. If someone would show you a photoshopped picture of yourself at Woodstock, your brain will actually create a memory of the event, even though you were never there. You’ll come to believe it even though it never happened. The ultimate mind____. Try not to fall into this trap.

    4. Change blindness is a simple phenomenon but can profoundly affect what we see… or don’t see. The ability to detect change is a basic but very important function in our daily life. But if we’re focused on something, like something traumatic or scary, we’re likely to miss other important details of the scene; other changes that may be taking place in the background. Sometimes very important details. But scientists theorize that in order for our brains to process an event effectively, it must be able to focus on the central event itself. So it will allow the focus to simplify itself on what has our attention at the time. And other details will begin to blur. This is helpful in certain situations where we need to focus on one thing, but very difficult in a case of mayhem where we need to process more than one thing at a time. It appears that our brains weren’t quite designed for this, and we find chaotic scenes very overwhelming. We simply can’t process it all. The only change we can detect in the background is when something moves and diverts our attention. If nothing moves, our focus stays on the main event. And we can miss a lot of details when this happens.

    5. The McGurk Effect is the most confusing phenomenon of all. But in a nutshell, it’s a phenomenon of each of our senses perceiving something in a different way when each is allowed to work separately. And it can profoundly affect what we think we see or hear. So we have to be very careful and allow our senses to do their work and always keep this little brain quirk in mind when we recall events.

Watch this video about the McGurk Effect and you’ll see what I mean:

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