How does the human brain recognize beauty

How the brain sees the world

The brain makes its own picture

What our surroundings leave behind in terms of visual impressions are only spots of light on the fundus - not a 1: 1 image of reality. The brain only gradually learns to interpret this "play of light" and stores shapes, colors, objects or faces in different areas. Every new visual impression is compared with already known perceptions.

Is it a chair, a car, or a person? The brain decides on the most likely interpretation. It does not capture the world as it is, but creates its own picture.

In most cases this works, but not always. If it is confronted with something new and unusual, all resources are required for the assessment. And at times the thinking apparatus can get quite confused.

Optical illusion: misinterpretation of reality

In 1946 the US psychologist and ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames designed an amazing room. People who move from one corner to the other in what appears to be a perfectly normal room appear to change their size. Dwarves become giants and vice versa.

Although we know that this cannot actually be the case, we succumb to optical illusion. In reality, the Ames room is constructed completely crookedly - distorted in a trapezoidal shape.

The brain plays a trick on us because from experience we only know right-angled spaces. This leads to a misinterpretation of reality.

"Change Blindness": An eye for the essentials

Everyone knows this from their own experience. We focus our attention on what seems most important. We hide everything else, even if there is a lot going on. Experts speak of "change blindness".

In an experiment, for example, passers-by were asked by a reporter to find out which of the two stretches was longer in a picture. Under the pretext of wanting to get a yardstick, the reporter ducked behind her booth so that a colleague could take on her role.

Conclusion of the experiment: Most of them did not notice the exchange of reporters. Because the brain only has a limited processing capacity. It works like a filter that does not let everything through to consciousness.

What's going on in your head?

The brain cannot be dismantled like a clock. But thanks to modern imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers can watch the gray cells at work.

Active nerve cells must be adequately supplied with blood. This change in the brain tissue can be visualized with the help of computers. It clarifies the location and extent of brain activity.

If a test person is shown a picture of a known object - for example a car - one can see which nerve cells are active. Other nerve cells jump when recognizing faces. Researchers now have a pretty good idea of ​​which regions of the brain are responsible for processing different perceptions.

Information processing in the brain helps us make decisions in everyday life. To a certain extent, it has saved the individual life experience and controls our behavior accordingly.

For example, anyone who has always had good experiences with dogs will meet them with trust. On the other hand, anyone who has already been bitten by a dog is more likely to avoid them.

The ear filters out unnecessary noise

Not everything that the senses register reaches the brain. The best example is hearing. Noises, voices and music reach the ear as pressure waves. But only part of the acoustic information transmitted in this way is processed by the brain. The ear filters out everything superfluous.

The developers of the MP3 process have made use of this fact. The name MP3 stands for "MPEG Audio Layer 3". In accordance with the limited perception of our hearing, everything that is insignificant for the sound impression is removed from the original audio data. This makes it possible to store music in an extremely compact manner without any audible loss of quality.