What generates the reality I experience?
According to David Eagleman it includes:
Data captured by my senses and transmitted to the brain.
Information sent to the brain by my own internal model of the world – facts learnt from previous experience – that rectangular metal objects are cars, fluffy white things in the sky are clouds, etc. This short cut referencing system means my mind doesn’t have to work things out from basic principles each time.
Corrected or adjusted information – for example, when I look around me the image my eyes take in is jerky and unstable rather like film shot without a tripod. However, my internal model has learnt things like buildings, horizon and landscape are generally stable so it automatically removes any movement. Also, I think I see colour but this doesn’t really exist – my eyes translate the wavelengths they see into something I perceive as colours.
Missed information – when I pay attention I feel like my senses have captured most information but in truth they only collect what’s needed.
Restrictions created by my biology – my senses can only supply data that lies within their physical capabilities – a whole lot of information outside this natural range remains invisible.
So, it seems the reality I experience is not what’s actually out there in the world. Instead, it’s a version of reality my brain has created; facts blended with assumptions, interpretations and extrapolations.
And, unless everyone’s senses and minds operate in an identical way, there seems little likelihood that the reality I perceive is precisely the same as the one experienced by anyone else.
Source: Dr David Eagleman The brain with David Eagleman, episode1, Blink films 2016