Some blind people can react unconsciously to visual stimuli

“Blindsight” is the neurological ability of people who have functioning eyes but are consciously blind due to brain lesions, to still react unconsciously to visual stimuli.

In experiments, such people can correctly guess objects placed in front of them, discriminate amongst visual stimuli (such as movement), and correctly move their hands towards specific objects at a much higher success rate than chance would allow, even though they can’t consciously see the objects or stimuli.

This phenomenon is a supremely weird insight into how the brain and consciousness works, and challenges the common belief that perceptions must enter consciousness to affect behaviour. In actual fact, behaviour can be guided by sensory perceptions of which we have no conscious awareness!

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