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8. Togetherness: Hacks 75–80 > 79. Make Events Understandable as Cause and Effe...

Make Events Understandable as Cause and Effect

By following a couple of simple rules, you can show a clear pattern of cause and effect, and ensure your viewer is able to make the connection between separate things happening at the same time.

Research suggests that just as the visual system works to recover the physical structure of the world by inferring properties such as 3-D shape, so too does it work to recover the causal and social structure of the world by inferring properties such as causality and animacy. 1

Perception is finding structure in sensations. Finding a structure to things lets you hold them in mind and store them in a memory-efficient way. If the structure corresponds to reality, it can also be used to provide predictions about the thing you’re representing. So it’s easier to think of several sections of cable on your desk as all being part of the same mouse lead, and once you’ve assumed that it’s easy to find the mouse, you just follow the cable away from the stack.


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