Visual Auto-Completion

Have you ever had the annoyance of typing away on your word processor and had it automatically “correct” something you knew was already correct? My favorite is when I type “i.e.” and it thinks I meant to type “I.e.” Your computer thinks it’s smarter than you are. I’d like to think I’m smarter than it.

Your brain also has a built-in auto-completion or auto-correction function. And just like your word processor it often auto-corrects correctly and sometimes not. Here’s an example when it guesses incorrectly.

Most people say that they can see a white triangle. Your brain tries to complete the alignment of the individual shapes. If you look closely you may even “see” faint lines that make up the perceived white triangle. However, there are no lines. In fact, there is no triangle.

An example of when the brain correctly auto-corrects is when it conceals the blind spot in our vision. This blind spot is formed when 1.5 million tiny nerves from our retina squeeze together and exit out the back of our eyes on their way to the brain. There are no light receiving cells in this part of the retina. In other words, we should see a small black hole to each side of our vision, but we don’t, compliments of the brain’s auto-correction feature.

Want to find your blind spot?

  1. Cover your left eye with your left hand. (Make sure you can’t see through your fingers.)
  2. Hold your right thumb up at arms length directly in front of you.
  3. Look directly at your thumbnail. Without moving your eye from that position, slowly move your thumb slightly to your right about 8-10 inches.
  4. You should notice that your thumbnail suddenly disappears.

Congratulations! Your vision has now been auto-corrected.

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