The Stopped Clock Illusion: Your Brain Edits What You See

The stopped clock illusion is an example of chronostasis, a type of temporal illusion that makes an initial perception seem extended in time. It's estimated that we lose about 40 minutes of each day to these visual gaps, which occur during saccades—the rapid eye movements that direct the gaze from one point to another. The brain's "erasing" of these gaps is called saccadic masking.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. A saccade is the quick movement your eyeballs make when they look from one object to another. 00:29

  2. When you shift your eyes to another fixed point, your brain replaces the resulting blur of movement with an image of the point your eyes moved to. 01:04

  3. Every day, you lose approximately 40 minutes to saccadic masking. 02:22

Written by Curiosity Staff September 25, 2015

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