The Brain “Sees” Objects That You Don’t Perceive

Consider The Impact of All of The "Little Things" That Go On During A Mediation
I love reading science research and articles on Sundays to try and expand my knowledge.  Plus, it gives me new words to look up on my iPhone's app as there are often words I don't know their meaning included in the research articles. This also allows me the opportunity to connect the research with my conflict resolution practice and reflect on its impact within our field.

One great site to visit is the PsyBlog- it is a great resource to visit frequently to get great insight into the latest science research.  

Have a look at the following and come to your own conclusions. 
A new study shows how much visual input the brain processes, but we never consciously see.
Fascinating new research, published in the journalPsychological Science,addresses this question.
Sanguinetti et al. (2013) had participants looking at the silhouettes of objects in the centre of a screen, while there were other shapes around the outside.
It’s like the everyday situation where you are concentrating on something, but there are all kinds of other objects and shapes in your peripheral vision.
By monitoring their brainwaves, the researchers were able to determine whether participants were processing these peripheral objects.
(bold added by me) People don’t usually take much notice of what’s going on in their peripheral vision because they are concentrating on what they are looking at.
Of course this ties nicely into my current research on nonverbal communication and mediation.  Consider the impact of all the "little things" going on during a mediation that people do not necessary "see" but nonetheless impacts peoples emotions, motivations, actions, and words.  Also, do not forget, as the guide trying to assist people that are involved in the dispute or conflict, what impact does this have on you?


  1. Jeff, as someone who is short-sighted, and who wears glasses, my peripheral vision is not good. Now, I wonder how that impacts 1) my focus and 2) sub-conscious processing of peripheral images? Your thoughts?

  2. Ben,

    Great questions… that I am not sure I have the answer to!
    What I would say is distractions are not limited to things we can see but also hear, touch, and with our thoughts.
    Practicing mindfulness helps me with 1) being aware of potential distractions while 2) also maintaining an awareness and concentration on the task at hand.
    Hope that helps,


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