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Author Topic: Can we enhance the capacity of human sensory perception? (Not ESP!)  (Read 3304 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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How do we increase/augment the span and accuracy of human sensory perception?

I have included an excerpt of a paper I wrote some time on "Augmentation of human sensory perception" to hopefully bounce off the topic

This is a huge topic of which I have brushed only the very surface and would very much appreciate comment and critique from forum members who are interested?
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What we observe around us in not perfect or correct and only a reflection of partial reality. In fact, the brain makes best guesses about the outside world from surprisingly limited information. Research shows the brain reconstructs the rich tapestry that we sense and experience from bits of scattered data.

The reality we perceive around us is a but a tiny fraction of the entire environment surrounding us, because God or evolution has designed us to only react or act only to very specific impulses, which are essential to sustain us as a viable and successful species on planet earth. In this we are not special and these limitations of evolution effect other animal species as well.

Perception of truth also involves sensing when a person is lying to you as below.
Attention blindness, is a memory and storage limitation of the human brain. Something we all are subjected to, but are mostly unaware of until we are asked as an example, to come to court as a witness, to a crime. It is in this situation that is necessity to recall accurately how that event played out before us that day.

Many accused person have been wrongly jailed for life or even executed for this lack of accurate perception.  Most witnesses do not lie, they report what they thought they had observed, which at times are far off of the truth about what really happened on the scene of the crime.

Humans are only able to observe to tiny slit of the electromagnetic spectrum due to our very limited visual/eyesight sensory perception. The same goes for auditory vibration used by us for hearing, smell and touch, etc. I could go on but leave it at that for now.

Thus, we are internally programmed to perceive only within a narrow band and very limited range what truly surrounds us.  Due to these embedded limiting sensory capacities and ingrained factors, we only respond to sensory signals, that are essential for our continued survival, as a viable sentient species on planet earth.

As an comparison with the above paragraph. Lets examine the life of a frog, although its eye sends host of visual messages to the cortex of its brain, its brain ignores most of them as redundant, because just in the manner of humans, it is likewise programmed to react only to the movement or vibration of its food source, which is mostly insects. The frog is not concerned with the detail of stationary objects of the world around it.  He will starve to death surrounded by food if it is not moving. His choice of food is determined only by size and movement.

Another example of this is the security metal detector gate found in most airports, it will only beep when it senses metal and let any other object pass through.

We miss a great deal of reality and cannot normally perceive exactly all that is really happening around us, because nature has created us dismiss much of what the brain takes in, as extraneous, irrelevant or redundant garbage. We have been programmed over the ages to only perceive that which is necessary for our survival as a viable species on planet earth.  Our brains fill in the gaps and limitations of our sensory organs by creating a false picture of reality, to keep us comfortable.

The brain assists us in determining what we see, as can be demonstrated by trying to read while moving your head or while tapping the corner of one closed eye Try it and you will notice what I mean. Your brain receives information from sensory receptors that inform it about body position and movement. Thus it can compensate for the head movements but not the taps. The brain also is programmed to see what we expect to see. Tests of people using an “Ames room,” which from a certain angle of view seems normal but whose shape is in fact distorted, show that they perceive two average-sized people in the room as a giant and a midget.

Look at the Ames Room test on You Tube and you will be amazed how easily we can be fooled even though we know the two people in the Ames Room are nearly the same height and stature. Various other optical illusions have been invented to test perceptions and how the brain organizes the information it receives. It is thought that this organizing ability is partly genetically determined and activated by an individual’s early visual experience. Two special abilities of humans, which appear to be tied to our social evolution, are good face recognition and an ability to read the emotions of others.

The human nervous system has evolved to receive only a fraction of the possible stimuli that exist, and it differs from those of other animals in several respects. Thanks to our evolutionary history of living in trees, for instance, we have stereoscopic color vision.

Yet compared with that of dogs and other animals, our perception of odors and sounds is very poor. Even more removed from human experience, bats find their way about by echoes, and some fish use electric fields, although all of them lack some of our perceptual abilities.

Our dominant sense is that of sight, that is why a human male , unlike most other animals can get sexually excited just by a picture of a strange beautiful human woman. Woman are likewise very visual beings and can fantasize a romance with a handsome man , she has only observed in a photo. Of course the terms I used handsome and beautiful are subjective, what is attractive to one person might not be attractive to another.

To overcome the limitations of our sensory perception, we are the only entities known to have successfully, invented tools or aids to increase our abilities to absorb impulses and  to perceive more of reality both from a distance and down into the infinitesimal. By use of these inventions and many truly amazing tools and resources, we can now perceive objects far out in the boundless cosmos and look down into the depths into the minute and infinitesimal quantum world, which are the fundamental building blocks of our entire universe.

Our memories especially our short term memory are extremely limited and it became crucial for us to invent external means, to record, store and recall our memories, especially our long term memories for future reference. Namely, by means of writing, on pen and paper, print media, tape storage and now the colossal capacity of the computer that has given us an almost infinite place to store our memories.

Of course the ability to read what we wrote or interpret what we have stored in different media became an essential factor in our survival and this led to the schooling of children as we now see it all over the world. Experiments which compared the short term memories of chimpanzees with that of humans revealed that chimps have a vastly better short term memory than humans on average.

Ultimately tools like the internet might ultimately contain a complete copy of all of human knowledge down through the ages of history and an easy methods of access to that knowledge. This will allowed us to vastly free our minds for other tasks for the betterment of the human condition as we advanced into becoming the highly advanced super humans or Homo-Superiors beings, that will have the ability and intelligence to leave earth and explore the universe. 

To interpret that someone is lying to you, one should use their visual capacity by observing very carefully their body language and become aware of the following warning signs of a liar.

One of the most important misconceptions about a liar is that they avoid eye contact, in fact the reverse is true and a liar caught out might stare back at you unblinking.

A lair might not have a grip on reality and it can even become a pathological disorder in some people. These are not the people I am relating talking about in the below paragraphs because their continuous outrageous nonsensical stories have reached the point when no one believes anything they say.

Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf, they fall into that category and can even be dangerous to the community.

My emphasis as far as lying goes, is to catch out the occasional liar if the truth is not obvious or to access if the person you are communicating with is genuine.

It is much more difficult to tell a lie than tell the truth.

Most liars will contradict, change and embellish their stories.

lairs will overcompensate by looking you eye for too long.

Liars often use formal language to express their false stories. (I absolutely did not steal that thing) instead of a truthful persons response no of course not.

Liars limit their expressions, such as a smile only with the mouth. (In a true smile look carefully at the smiles of a genuine truthful person and you will see their eyes light up and wrinkle at the corners)

Liars make movements that do not match what they are saying (Such as nodding instead of shaking their heads, when relating a lie)

Liars  often subconsciously place objects between themselves and the person they are lying to, making a sort of barrier.

Liars very often repeat your question back to you. (Did I take the wallet?)

Lairs add too many unnecessary detail in their story telling

Liars often tell their stories backwards.




 

Offline cheryl j

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You might be interested in this story about Neil Harbisson, a guy who was born with no color vision but uses a device that transforms colors into sounds so that he can detect them. Aside from its practical applications, he sees this as a kind of sensory expansion, in an almost artistic way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Harbisson

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/283440560/extrasensory
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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You might be interested in this story about Neil Harbisson, a guy who was born with no color vision but uses a device that transforms colors into sounds so that he can detect them. Aside from its practical applications, he sees this as a kind of sensory expansion, in an almost artistic way.

tHANKS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Harbisson

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/283440560/extrasensory


Thanks I am very interested in this type of enhancing human sensory perception I will go to the link and include it in my paper, with his permission of course.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Do you not suspect that the limitation lies with the processing power of the brain, rather than the proscribed limits of the senses? Adding more data from one sense will have to be offset by loss from another.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Do you not suspect that the limitation lies with the processing power of the brain, rather than the proscribed limits of the senses? Adding more data from one sense will have to be offset by loss from another.

My point is that the entire human body has its own intrinsic intelligence embedded into every cell. Of course you are correct about the limitations of the brain, but practice and specialized teaching can improve its performance greatly.

As an example by using methods to increase my memory I have been able to store short term memories in my long term memory space. I also developed a way to memories long strings of random numbers. I admit these are not very useful in the real world and were just experiments of mine to satisfy my own curiosity
 

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