Thursday, November 23, 2006

How do you see lots?

A take on an old subject...

I've been reading a book by Richard Dawkins - Unweaving the Rainbow. Some really interesting stuff about how we see, which I will now paraphrase badly.

Apparently, your brain cannot physically cope with all of the image that's in front of your eye. There's just too much going on, so in effect it creates a virtual reality model of the world around you. The bits that actually get uploaded to the brain are things that you're interested in, or that are moving, or that represent a threat.

So, as you're walking down the street your brain creates a picture of the street from initial signals from the eye, then leaves that alone and overlays it with new interesting stuff. You'll get lots of signals and updates about the car that's about to run you over, or, the fact that there's a coffee shop on the corner and you're thirsty. The rest of the model is just left alone, it gets moved around as you move, but your eye doesn't actually send signals about the dull bits. You "see" what you want or need to"see", the rest is a brain generated 3d picture.


I've sat in countless meetings where we've talked about getting under the radar with advertising. Put this in context with the thoughts above, and you realise how ridiculous the statement is. 99.9% of whats surrounding us is treated a background stuff - we aren't even acknowledging it. The only way brands get noticed is to say interesting things in interesting ways when customers are ready to be interested.

Frankly that's enough work, here's a photo of Kate going fast on her bike. What's she actually seeing? I'd say lots, which is probably why she's happy afterwards.

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