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2. Seeing: Hacks 13–33 > 13. Understand Visual Processing

Understand Visual Processing

The visual system is a complex network of modules and pathways, all specializing in different tasks to contribute to our eventual impression of the world.

When we talk about “visual processing,” the natural mode of thinking is of a fairly self-contained process. In this model, the eye would be like a video camera, capturing a sequence of photographs of whatever the head happens to be looking at at the time and sending these to the brain to be processed. After “processing” (whatever that might be), the brain would add the photographs to the rest of the intelligence it has gathered about the world around it and decide where to turn the head next. And so the routine would begin again. If the brain were a computer, this neat encapsulation would be how the visual subsystem would probably work.


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