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We could adapt to view the world upside down

Thursday, 15 November 2012
We could adapt to view the world upside down
We all know the human brain is clever, but do you think your eyes could adjust to seeing the world upside down? Well they can. Professor Theodor Erismann of the University of Innsbruck conducted an experiment to prove this, with the help of his student and assistant, Ivo Kohler. Ivo wore a pair of specially designed goggles to test Erismann's theory. The goggles were fitted with mirrors to reverse the light, so what you would usually see at the top would be at the bottom, effectively displaying the world in reverse.

As you would expect at first it took time for the human body to adjust to this bizarre world, but after 10 days Ivo was no longer turning his cup upside down to catch water from the tap that appeared to be flowing upwards, instead he was functioning like normal. He was no longer stumbling when walking in public and could even ride a bike with the goggles on.

The pair did further research and came to the conclusion that just about anyone could adjust to having their vision turned upside down. Determining that if images reach the eye at a consistent angle for an extended period of time, eventually the brain will adjust to perceive it as normal.

Other scientists such as George Stratton have run similar experiments. In the 1890’s he wore a inversed telescope for eight days until eventually his brain and eyes changed so that he could see the world normally rather than on its head. He also experimented with altering the visual fields by angles, adjusting the world to a 45 degree angle that would eventually correct itself.

Posted By +Emma Haskell

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