On 12/10/2010, in Couch and hammer, by steve
We often say on seeing something surprising “I could hardly believe my eyes”. Of course we know from countless little tricks from childhood onwards that our eyes, those vitally important sensors of visual information, are far from infallible. Of course it is no so much the sensors, our eyes themselves, that are at fault. They usually send the data without corruption to our brains which then is responsible for the images that we actually see. It is in this processing phase that things can get out of whack and we end up seeing things that are anything but an accurate reflection of reality.
In everyday life, we tend to compensate pretty well for those shortcomings and experience in most cases simply overrides the more egregious interpretations our brains come up with.
But in the more synthetic environments of the cockpit and ATC centers, extreme care is needed from designers and operators alike to avoid the tricks our eyes and brains can play on us.
Follow this link to find out just how unreliable our visual perceptions are.