The limitations of perception and cognition

What a man sees also has its absolute limitations, resulting from the structure of perceptual apparatus. As noted by Bertrand Russell “a motion is perceived, not merely inferred, when it is sufficiently swift for many positions to be sensible at one time”11. Changes that are too slow we cannot observe directly. We do not feel for example the movement of the hour hand of a clock. Only after some time, by comparing with the image in our memory, we can conclude that there has been a shift. On the other hand, a change that is too rapid causes the merging of moving objects into a seemingly stable whole. That is because a person is not able to distinguish the stimuli appearing at just any speed.

If two events follow one another in a very short interval of time, they are recognized as one circles, however if looked at directly it seems to us that only the point located on the inside circle is moving. The key to this visual puzzle is the numerical relationships recorded inside the circles. They indicate how many rotations per second a particular point makes. In the first case the ratio of 1:43200 means that the point will make one rotation after 43,200 seconds, i.e. after 12 hours.

Therefore it moves at the speed of the hour hand of a clock. In the second case, the ratio of 1:1 means that the point makes one rotation per one second. Only the movement of that point can be observed directly. In the third case, the ratio of 50:1 means that the point makes 50 rotations per one second. Because the image in the discussed application is refreshed at the speed of 50 frames per second, the exposed point is always in the same spot, so its movement is not visible. Although in the last case, we are dealing rather with the limitations of projection than of perception, we have to keep in mind that similar limitations apply to our eye. Visit The Site: f95zone

The highest speed at which a person is able to record movement is precisely close to these 50 frames per second. In the case of visual sensations we are not dealing with a continuous stream of images, but with a number of discrete states. Therefore, we do not see smooth motion, only its discrete illusion13. The analysis of the physical limitations of visual perception provokes us to a broader reflection on the limitations of our cognitive abilities. We realize that indeed, our descriptions and explanations of reality are built on such poor premises.

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This applies not only to common cognition, but also theorems and scientific theories. Accordingly, the moving image presented here can become a starting point for a discussion in the fields of epistemology and the philosophy of science.

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