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differentiate, exceptional, exploiting, molecule, nurtured, odors, series, sharpen, specialized, subtly

Amazing Facts About Your Senses

Sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell: Our five senses are what help us make, well, sense of the world around us. But scientists are still discovering how they workand how you can sharpen yours. Read on for a comprehensive look at the new science of your senses.

source: PARADE


The human eye is an exceptional tool for gathering light; it can distinguish among 500 shades of gray and spot the light of a candle 14 miles away. But for all the eye’s extraordinary ability, seeing is a function of the brainhumansvisual cortex is more developed than that of any other mammal. Vision demands that the brain differentiate foreground from background, and edges from linesskills that even the world’s most powerful computers have been unable to match. Your brain makes sense of shapes and symbols by putting them together like a jigsaw puzzle, organizing fragments into a coherent whole. (Movies work because the brain stitches a ­series of frames into an unbroken stream.) We develop this ability as infantswhich explains why patients who grew up blind but have had their sight restored often struggle to understand what they are seeing: Their brains can’t initially distinguish an object from its background, or accurately separate two over­lapping objects. (A chair and desk would be perceived as a single flat image, like an abstract painting made of rectangles.) Optical illusions work by exploiting the mind’s tendency to try to find order in patternsa face in the pockmarks on a cement wallor make sense of an impossible image, like the endless climbing staircase in an Escher drawing.

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 abstract第四級[形容詞] 抽象的; [名詞] 摘要
 cement第四級[動詞] 黏緊,黏牢; [名詞] 水泥
 chair第五級[動詞] 主持(會議);任(會議的)主席; [名詞] 椅子
 coherent第六級[形容詞] 一致的;條理清楚的;連貫的
 comprehensive第六級[形容詞] 廣泛的;綜合的; [名詞] 專業綜合測驗;總考
 demands第四級demand(要求,請求) 的第三人稱單數現在式; demand(要求,請求) 的複數
 differentiate第六級[動詞] 構成差別;區分
 distinguish第四級[動詞] 區別;識別
 exceptional第五級[形容詞] 例外的;異常的;特殊的
 exploiting第六級exploit(開發,開採,開拓) 的現在分詞
 extraordinary第五級[形容詞] 異常的;特別的
 fragments第六級fragment(使成碎片) 的第三人稱單數現在式; fragment(碎片;斷片) 的複數
 frames第四級frame(給...裝框子) 的第三人稱單數現在式; frame(骨架;結構) 的複數
 gathering第五級gather(集合) 的現在分詞; [名詞] 集會,聚集
 illusions第六級illusion(錯覺;假象;幻想) 的複數
 infants第四級infant(嬰兒) 的複數
 initially第四級initial(開始的,最初的) 的衍生的副詞; [副詞] 最初;開頭
 mammal第五級[名詞] 哺乳動物
 perceived第五級perceive(察覺;感知;意識到) 的過去式及過去分詞
 restored第四級restore(恢復) 的過去式及過去分詞
 series第五級[名詞] 連續;系列
 sharpen第五級[動詞] 削尖,磨快
 tendency第四級[名詞] 傾向;癖性
 visual第四級[形容詞] 視力的;光學的