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Schmeltz's picture

Fovea of the ear?

The discussion of the fovea kind of blew my mind on Thursday.  Throughout the day, I kept looking around myself and realizing that the picture I had in my head was mostly a construction of my brain since my eyes were limited to a very small distance of focus.  I began to imagine what life would be like if our brains did not have the capability of filling in the missing pieces. Basically it would be really boring I think, but also frustrating. How would we be able to exist in this world with ease if we could not create what feels like an instantaneous picture of our world? I know it is possible, and that the nervous system can make sense of the world through other senses, but I would imagine that it would be quite frustrating if we could not fill in these blind spots. I also began thinking that we are all visual artists in some way or another because we all have the ability to create these visual compositions of the world surrounding us.  I was showing a friend the cross/dot experiment we were doing in class and it blew his mind as well. He brought up a question that had not occurred to me: do our auditory systems do the same thing? Do we have a the equivalent of a fovea in the organization of our ears? From the bit of exploration I have been able to do, it seems like we do.  The pinnae is the area of the ear which is responsible for focusing on sound. Some animals, like dogs, have a movable pinnae that correlate to a wider range of sound detection.  So, it seems reasonable to think that our brains are not only visually composing the world around us, but constructing auditory compositions of the world as well.  So, everyone has their own auditory/visual compositions going on at any given moment. That is amazing to me. 

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

Marcus Aurelius 

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