So Im walking down the street today (as I am wont to do) and two women was walking some ways in front of me. One of them turned slightly to the other and it turned out that she was asian. It got me to musing (as I am wont to do) that its immensely impressive in some abstract way that our brains can process minute changes in visual information in such a way as to change our interpretation of the person were looking at. I mean, I didnt think the woman walking ahead of me was not asian, its just that itd never occurred to wonder. Then, by seeing maybe 10% of her profile, I instantly knew something about her heritage that I hadnt known minutes before.
More impressively, we do that millions of times a day. We recognize happy expressions, sad ones, angry, amused, bored, whatever, and every variation in between without ever thinking about it. We can recognize a person from his voice, or know if a total stranger is smiling just by the way that they sound, which is fantastic to me, and also amazing. We can pick someone we know but do not expect to see from a crowd at great distances with only his silouhette and the way he walks to clue us in on who were looking at.
Now Im sitting here ranting (as I am wont to do), and wondering why I didnt go into some field like Cognative Science or Neuro-Something, and then I remember that Im not very smart. These things that consume me when I walk around on the street seem so antiseptic in a classroom, so mundane in a lab. Theyre also grossly more complex in terms of biology than I could ever handle, but the theory is damned impressive.
Thats all. Sorry for bothering you with that.