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xx THE PERSISTENCE OF VISION: A FREAKISH STORY
« Thread started on: Jun 4th, 2008, 2:48pm »

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THE PERSISTENCE OF VISION
A STORY OF FREAKISH PERCEPTION


WIRED
By Brandon Keim
May 31, 2008


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While watching a movie three years ago at Christmas, neurologist and author Oliver Sacks felt a migraine behind his right eye. He went to a doctor, who told him it was a rare and malignant form of cancer.

Not long ago, Sacks' eye would have been removed. The doctor reassuringly told him that "he'd taken out thousands." But the lasers and radiation of modern medicine let Sacks fight back. It turned out to be a losing fight -- but one that allowed Sacks to chronicle the deterioration of his sight, bearing literal eyewitness to the confounding relationship between sight and vision.

Sacks spoke last night at the World Science Festival. When moderator Robert Krulwich asked what he saw with his good eye covered, Sacks explained that he couldn't see Krulwich's face. A blot hovers at the center of his sight. But when Sacks looks at monochromatic spaces -- a wall, say, or the sky -- the blind spot's color changes to match. His brain somehow fills it in.

Sacks recounted going to the bathroom immediately after having surgery on his eye, which was still covered in surgical dressing. When he closed his other eye, he could still see the sink before him, as if his damaged eye was not only healthy but capable of seeing through the bandages. This phenomena took even more bizarre forms: Sacks would watch someone walking towards him, close his good eye, and continue to see them walking, as if his brain was playing a loop -- and when he opened his eye, they would disappear, having long since walked past.

At this point in the talk, I expected Sacks to discuss the neurological basis of sight and vision. But aside from mentioning Charles Bonnet Syndrome, named after the 18th century naturalist who observed that blind people sometimes have visual hallucinations, there wasn't much more science. Still, it was a good story.

What about you, Wired Science readers? Any unique or freakish sensory experiences of your own?

I'll start things off with mine: during sophomore year in college, I was doing homework in my bedroom when my favorite song started to play on the living room stereo. I was surprised, since I'd played it so often that my roommates were sick of it -- but when I got up several minutes later, I found the living room empty and the stereo off.

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xx Re: THE PERSISTENCE OF VISION: A FREAKISH STORY
« Reply #1 on: Jun 7th, 2008, 1:42pm »

yeah sometimes when i'm near a tv and the tv is in mute i can hear the tv.
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When you think about the distances another civilization would travel, one would have to really wonder why. Sure, some have said to help those of earth but instead, think about what value we may hold that they want and could be stealing. If the human soul exists, what if maybe they're simply stealing for their own needs. They've shown me things. I've felt that of another. It's as if they bring it through me just for show and then take it away. Why do they have such ability to be able to do that to the dead and for that matter, what are they doing with them? Lastly, when and if what is suppose to happen, happens - believe this, It's all a ruse and nothing is as it appears! Don't forget that note and pass it on to your friends and family when it's time. As for the theft of souls, that bothers me something horrible.

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