The outside world is a big place – full of sights, sounds and smells – and our brains need to make sense of it. We continually need to know where we are, where we came from, and what we are going to do next. But it's so full of information we'd suffer from a sensory overload if we tried to process it all at once. To help us grasp what's going on, our brains selectively build up a picture of the scene around us by piecing together key bits of information and drawing on what we already know. Understanding how we do this is a big challenge for neuroscientists and psychologists, as it's hard to reproduce real life situations in the lab. So researchers are using audio-visual projections to mimic the outside world, such as the scenes in these pictures, to get a better grip on how people process them.
Written by Kat Arney
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.