We are used to thinking that everyone around us perceives reality in almost the same way. However, this is not true. First, the human brain is capable of creating illusions by itself, for example the so-called déjà vu🇧🇷
Second, head trauma, concussions, strokes, and mental disorders can disable the individual, for example, to process sensory information, which is called agnosia. It sounds scary, but let’s try to understand how a person with a distorted sense of reality sees the world around them.
At the awesome.club we have entered the essence of perception and we want to show what are the consequences of its distortion.
Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)
The image above has been manipulated to give a rough idea of how a person can see the world after suffering a stroke. It all looks very familiar, but she can’t recognize anything.
Stroke is a disorder of the blood supply to the brain, which is manifested by symptoms such as confusion, drowsiness, headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness, dizziness, etc. This type of problem includes brain hemorrhages and subarachnoid hemorrhages.
The image may seem frightening, but it’s how people who suffer from prosopagnosia remember other people’s appearance, and sometimes their own appearance. It is a facial perception disorder that affects the ability to recognize faces, due to trauma to the lower right occipital region of the brain.
The image on the left shows how people with astigmatism see, and the image on the right shows how people with normal vision see. Sometimes people don’t even suspect the problem exists: many suffer from congenital astigmatism, a visual defect caused by deformity of the lens, cornea or eye, resulting in impaired vision.
Akinetopsia is a neuropsychological disorder that manifests itself in the inability to perceive movement. A person perceives moving objects as a series of images that appear one after the other, leaving a blurred trail.
Very fast movements are not noticed. Akinetopsia occurs because of mechanical brain damage, a stroke, or as a result of brain surgery.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
One of the manifestations of this syndrome is the so-called micropsia, which distorts the perception of objects, their shape and size, their space and the parts of the body itself. More often, micropsia affects people who suffer from schizophrenia, organic brain damage, or who have epileptic seizures.
A person with this syndrome believes that someone in their family or themselves has been replaced by an identical imposter. The bearer of the syndrome can claim that he did nothing wrong, but his clone, which is exactly like him.
Initially, visual information is sent to the brain fissure responsible for recognizing objects, including faces. And the amygdala body is responsible for the emotional response to that information. Damage to the fiber that connects these two parts of the brain causes the syndrome to appear.
Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which different sensory systems (e.g. visual and gustatory) are “connected” and the 2 react to the same stimulus. For example, a person sees something red and at the same time tastes watermelon.
The phenomenon has not yet been fully studied, but there are several theories about its causes:
It occurs due to increased neural connections between areas of the brain responsible for different sensory systems; It occurs under certain conditions: temporary epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, strokes and brain tumors; Additionally, synesthesia can occur during meditation, deep concentration, and sensory deprivation.
If in the photo above, instead of a church, you see a bird, you may have pareidolia. A vague and fuzzy visual image is perceived as something clear and defined, like figures of people and animals in clouds, in the starry sky or elsewhere. The brain, upon perceiving familiar features in the object, immediately interprets the image as something more concrete, such as a face.
This is explained by the fact that, over many years of evolution, the brain has learned to perceive emotions and intentions in the facial expressions of other people and animals and to process them, even before the subject realizes it. For example, if you meet someone with a frown, even if unconsciously, the brain can interpret it as a sign that you should avoid talking to that person because they are angry or not in a good mood.
If you understand a little bit of English, you must have realized that the text in the middle is all scrambled. Incidentally, the previous sentence, written in Portuguese with the letters scrambled, also. Well, this is how a person with this problem sees a text.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading and writing. People with this disorder find it difficult to compose syllables, may perceive letters in the wrong order, and have difficulty writing. In addition, they cannot correctly compose the letters in words.
The causes of the disorder may be hereditary or linked to the uneven distribution of neuronal connections between the cerebral hemispheres. Certain areas of these people’s brains are functionally less active than normal.
Do you happen to suffer from some symptoms of the disorders mentioned in our post or know someone who does? Leave your story in the comments.
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