The Pac Man Illusion

For those who wish to discuss the purely scientific aspects of sleep and dreams, including new research and future technologies.
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HAGART
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The Pac Man Illusion

Postby HAGART » 09 Jun 2016 16:06

Here is the Pac Man Illusion uploaded by New Scientist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GQg8qDX5hI
You have to see it to know what I'm talking about, so copy/paste that and watch it. It's really short, only 45 seconds, but you need visuals to see it. I can't explain it.

This phenomenon is so apparent in lucid dreams. The environment can change so much and we never even realize it at the time. Not until you step away and analyze it.

I feel there is much to discuss, but I don't have answers, only questions. Some ideas come to mind which are:

  1. Does anyone relate?
  2. Can we move past our 1st person body and see the dream as a whole?
  3. Does this illusion affect even our waking life?

There's more to it, I'm sure. I hope this stimulates as much thought in you all as myself.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Summerlander
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Summerlander » 09 Jun 2016 18:20

It's remarkable. If it's centred around Pacman, the changes are not so noticeable; this is analogous to an ordinary dream. But if one acquires a tout ensemble perspective, everything is exposed as it is and thus the analogy of lucidity comes to fruition.

But there is one caveat with the lucid dream analogy to this Pacman illusion: the closer the lucid dream self (Pacman) is to the waking ego---thus heightened self-awareness---the more the dream world is exposed as a shifting illusion; as opposed to the ordinary dream where you are not quite yourself---causing you to miss what's really happening.

When it comes to detecting the illusion, lucid dreaming is, therefore, analogous to Pacman albeit in an opposite manner from the observer (centre) perspective. 8-)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Knife
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Knife » 09 Jun 2016 19:04

First of all I got to say that's such a cool illusion. I was noticing light changes when they said it while it was playing, but I was mind-blown when they played it without the Pacman.

From the LD's I remember in the past i can really relate, although I never progressed a lot and they were not super vivid.

In normal dreams however it's so accurate it's almost scary. I remember some of the changes of scenario, characters etc. when I'm writing in my dream journal but it all makes sense as one big story in the dream.
Inherit the earth

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Pilgrim
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Pilgrim » 09 Jun 2016 21:33

This video reminds me of a video where a gorilla passes through a group of people passing a basketball, demonstrating selective attention. To win at a video game, or various challenges, we must tune out data that are secondary to the main goal. We do have ability to elect whether it is best that our focus be general observation or specific, both in dreams and waking life. Sometimes general is good. Sometimes specific is good.

I do feel that I relate to members of this forum. The forum makes it more safe to lower defensive walls. So, it is possible to relate to each other well, sometimes better than people with real names and faces.

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Summerlander
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Summerlander » 09 Jun 2016 23:02

Pilgrim, I couldn't have put it better myself. I wholeheartedly concur. I hope most people here agree with all the points you've just made. :-)

The Pacman illusion is also analogous to someone becoming enlightened in a Buddhist sense. If we take Pacman to be the ego (or self), we realise that while Pacman exists we miss the world for what it truly is. We are not concerned with the overall changes occurring around us because they are irrelevant to us; only the immediate vicinity matters in conformity with the moving decider---everything is about Pacman.

Without this identity fiction we become awake to everything else because we are no longer self-absorbed---completely unencumbered by the Pacman perspective or focus on it. This is anatta (the non-self state). 8-)

I'm going to edited my last post on 'The Shocking Truth' thread to include a link to this thread. It's a good analogy relevant to that topic, too! :-D
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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HAGART
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby HAGART » 09 Jun 2016 23:32

I'm glad I got a lot of feed back and have you all thinking about it. As a lucid dreamer, have you noticed that when you look at something and then turn away and look back again it's different?
In other lucid dreams I just go along with it and never notice at the time, but everything is changing.

I felt like letting you all think about it and the mechanics of the human mind, but I still have no answer.

I'll keep writing here and share more later. I don't think an exact account of a lucid dream is necessary, just anecdotes and epiphanies.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Summerlander
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Summerlander » 10 Jun 2016 00:35

HAGART wrote:I'm glad I got a lot of feed back and have you all thinking about it.


It's interesting! :mrgreen:

I've actually read about something relevant not too long ago. When the brain receives a particular type of sensory input, its neurons fire in a particular pattern somehow congruent with the mental model it produces and it assumes the external state of affairs stay that way until 'told' otherwise by further sensory input which indicates change.

And it has a filter, too, the one mentioned by Pilgrim which helps the brain consciously regard only that which it deems most valuable in its attempt to make sense of the world. The inevitable gaps in accuracy that this nervous system produces are filled with fictions---hence the instances where illusions perceptually work.

Its 'porkies' are a symptom of the necessity to disregard superfluous information. The world exhibits far too many changes for the brain to register everything on time in awareness; it would take too much brain power to compute everything as if all changes must matter to the subject.

Evolutionarily speaking, it's all about the living organism and how it can cope when bombarded with sensory information; the way our brains work today is a reminder of a prehistoric past where our species had to be quick in order to survive.

Hagart wrote:As a lucid dreamer, have you noticed that when you look at something and then turn away and look back again it's different?
In other lucid dreams I just go along with it and never notice at the time, but everything is changing.


I can relate to this. The lucid dream self is very similar to the waking self. Because they share memory and many other mental faculties such as logic and reasoning as a result of trying to fathom the real world for years, they have equivalent waking potentials and the power to discern and distinguish. Hence why irrational changes and the abstract in general will not go unnoticed and the 'aha!' moments experienced by dreamers when they become lucid. 8-)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Pilgrim
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Pilgrim » 10 Jun 2016 01:52

HAGART wrote: As a lucid dreamer, have you noticed that when you look at something and then turn away and look back again it's different?.

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Pilgrim
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Pilgrim » 10 Jun 2016 01:58

I am in a pattern now of having very realistic dreams, where I cannot get reality checks to fail. I commented somewhere in response to another person having the same problem. I'm unsure whether it is related to the depth of my sleep. My awareness of the dream is that I have no memory how I got in various locations. It is not as enjoyable when it is so real because gravity and laws constrain just as waking life.

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Summerlander
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Re: The Pac Man Illusion

Postby Summerlander » 10 Jun 2016 08:11

The truth is that the laws of physics, like gravity, do not exist in the dream world---everything is behaving according to your beliefs and expectations, so nothing is really constraining you but yourself; if you believe you are limited, you are ostensibly limited.

I can recall childhood nightmares where malevolent albino men prevented me from screaming for help by pressing my navel with their fingers. This is the reflection of a mind in conflict, a mind who is uncertain about the outcome of its efforts and shackled by fear; a mind who desires help but has a nagging voice saying, 'What if it doesn't work and the worst case scenario manifests?' Without lucidity, the amygdala-induced irrational fear is compatible with a mind that mistakes abstractionism for logic and surrealism for truth.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava


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