Imaginary neuroscience

Having some trouble sleeping lately, I have tried to understand the limits of my visual imagination. I have found it very difficult to imagine clearly moving objects without also imagining my body moves, but after some practice I could do it better.

One very interesting experiment I did, was to try and sense the difference between the two hemispheres. As you may know, each eye transports information into each of the two hemispheres, such that the right side of the field of vision is processed in the left hemisphere, and vice versa. My experiment was simple: Fix the gaze at one spot, and imagine a vertical line in the right side, moving slowly to the left. The amazing thing that I discovered was a strange feeling when the line passes through the middle. The best description to this feeling is that it feels like changing the hand holding a stick from the right to the left. I have also replicated the study with one other subject, with the same result, so it must be true!1

The cool hypothesis is that the imagination action changes hemisphere, and what I feel is the result of the information traveling through the corpus callusom, which is the pathway between the two hemispheres. The less sexy option is that it is also very possible that the muscles in my eyes are still moving a tiny bit, which feels differently when it passes through the middle, and I interpret the feeling as the movement of the stick from one hand to the other because I have actively tried to feel some difference between the hemispheres…

1. The subject was aware of previous experiments, so the results are biased 🙂


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