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Posts Tagged "sensation and perception"

The Thoughtful Animal

The Turtle with Human Eyes

turtle vision Trachemys Side view when pitched up

At first glance, most eyes look the same. There’s a small opening through which light passes. That light goes through the transparent liquid behind the lens and strikes the retina, a thin film of light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye. But there’s actually a great deal more to vision than that. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The Illusion of Being Human

being human logo

In one sense, the main theme of the Being Human conference was “illusion.” Illusions occur when what we perceive does not match with the true state of the world. When our thoughts do not accurately reflect objective reality. Visual illusions make this obvious, and we usually enjoy them. We see one white square and one [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Sensing Magnets: Navigation in Desert Ants

Ant on stilts

The more scientists discover about desert ants, the more impressive they seem. Decades of research have established that ants use path integration – an innate form of mental trigonometry – in order to navigate the visually featureless environments that are the salt pans of Tunisia. They do this by calibrating a mental clock based on [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Can You Hear Me Now? Human Noise Disrupts Blue Whale Communication

BlueWhale_Tail1

When you dive into the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California, the first thing you notice is the silence. Other than the bitter cold. Your body begins to adapt to the chilly water as blades of slimy kelp brush across your ankles. You spit out the bit of brackish [...]

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