We know that our perceptions do not mirror objective, external reality. Take people with psychosis for example or other neuropsychological conditions-they see things which cannot be perceived by others. Demonstrating that we can perceive things that really are not there. The subject of a new book is about whether everyday perception is also just as questionable: Deviate: the science of seeing differently by Beau Lotto Lotto.
Lotto a neuroscientist, says“[the] great minds of history had theories, but now neuroscience has an answer.” He also claims that the latest research has established that everything you experience “takes place in the brain” and that “you never, ever see reality!” Even going as far to say that “what makes it [your brain] beautiful is that it is delusional”. Reality is constructed in the mind.
What we perceive therefore is the result of the brain attempting to make predictions based on past experience and assumptions that are either hardwired (through evolution) or the accumulation of experience in this lifetime. Therefore our perceptions/what we see are the result of what our brain has experienced and the meanings attributed to these experiences.
With the further development and refinement of technologies to explore and probe our brain, and further development of the neuroscience discipline, I am sure that many other aspects of our everyday experiencing may also be explained by meanings constructed in the brain. Chronic pain for example has a plethora of scientific research which demonstrates that pain is whatever the brain says it is. So although the brain decides what we are able to see and feel in terms of chronic pain this does not in any way devalue or diminish what has been perceived or felt by the individual.
Perhaps neuroscience will lead the Vanguard in a shift towards more holistic medical care to take account of individual differences, perceptions and brains (Neuroscience)?