Brain can classify images seen for only 13 milliseconds
Scientists from MIT have found that the human brain is able to process images about 10 times faster than previous studies have shown.
In the new study, participants were shown a series of six to 12 concept photos, such as “picnic” and “smiling couple.” The experiment was conducted multiple times with the images being shown at varied amounts of time – first for 80 milliseconds, then 3, 27 and 13. Researchers found that the subjects were best able to recall specific photos when the photos were shown at 13-millisecond increments.
In the findings, published in the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, scientists explain the process called “feedforward processing,” by which information flows in one direction from the eye to visual processing centers in the brain. The study shows evidence that feedforward processing is enough for the brain to recognize concepts, researchers said, whereas previous studies suggested that more complex processes were necessary for image identification.