January 19, 2014
The human brain can achieve the remarkable feat of processing an image seen for just 13 milliseconds, scientists have found. This lightning speed obliterates the previous record speed of 100 milliseconds reported by previous studies.
In the study, scientists showed people a series of images flashed for 13 to 80 milliseconds. Viewers successfully identified things like a “picnic” or “smiling couple” even after the briefest of glimpses.
“The fact that you can do that at these high speeds indicates to us that what vision does is find concepts,” study leader Mary Potter, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., said in a statement.” That’s what the brain is doing all day long — trying to understand what we’re looking at.”