Visual Learning

The rear section of our brain, the occipital lobe, contains a part known as the visual cortex. The visual cortex processes visual sensory information and produces our dreams. When damaged, the visual cortex shows remarkable ability to repair and reprogram functionality.

Our brain has the ability to record descriptions of visual scenes using abstract words written with symbols, interpret and understand the meaning of the symbols, and then create a visual reconstruction of the original scene. We have only been doing this for a few thousand years and with steadily increasing proliferation for the last several hundred years. We’re reading more and watching more video content. Younger generations grow up learning to play video games. We have always needed to use our visual processing ability in normal life functions, but now we use it more and more in elective forms and more data intensive forms.

Modern computers are turning to Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) to accelerate intensive computations because they have designs streamlined to perform higher math functions faster in order to draw pictures. We may be in the process of reprogramming our visual cortex to add increased computational ability and speed to our brains.

Some blind people ‘see’ spatially with their ears – [kurzweilai.net]

The visual cortex, the part of the brain that normally works with our eyes to process vision and space perception, can rewire itself to process sound information instead, Dr. Olivier Collignon of the University of Montreal’s Saint-Justine Hospital Research Centre and Dr. Franco Lepore of the Centre for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognition have found.

Brain doesn’t need vision at all in order to ‘read’ material – [huji.ac.il]

The portion of the brain responsible for visual reading doesn’t require vision at all, according to a new study by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and France.

Brain imaging studies of blind people as they read words in Braille show activity in precisely the same part of the brain that lights up when sighted readers read. The findings challenge the textbook notion that the brain is divided up into regions that are specialized for processing information coming in via one sense or another, the researchers say.

”The brain is not a sensory machine, although it often looks like one; it is a task machine,” said Dr. Amir Amedi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, head of the team of researchers whose work on the topic is reported in the latest issue of Current Biology.

From information visualization to sensemaking: connecting the mind’s eye to the mind’s muscle – [parc.com]

Leaving aside communication, the purpose of information visualization is insight, or more particularly, a larger process that might be called sensemaking. I will sketch out the nature of sensemaking, exemplify it empirically in a practical, urgent setting, and suggest how theories of sensemaking could be developed. I will then describe systems that subsume information visualization as part of an emerging class of sensemaking systems combining visualization (the mind’s eye) with semantic content analysis and sensemaking operations (the mind’s muscle).


Sound adds speed to visual perception
– [esciencenews.com]

The traditional view of individual brain areas involved in perception of different sensory stimuli—i.e., one brain region involved in hearing and another involved in seeing—has been thrown into doubt in recent years. A new study published in the online open access journal BMC Neuroscience, shows that, in monkeys, the region involved in hearing can directly improve perception in the visual region, without the involvement of other structures to integrate the senses. Integration of sensory stimuli has traditionally been thought of as hierarchical, involving brain areas that receive signals from distinct areas of the brain layer known as the cortex that recognise different stimuli. But the recent finding of nerve cells projecting from the auditory cortex (associated with the perception of sound) directly into the visual cortex (associated with sight), suggest that perception of one sense might affect that of another without the involvement of higher brain areas.

SEE ALSO:
When We Evolve Into Robots
What Comes After Minds?

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