I know our brain somehow managed to upright the inverted images our eyes sees, also there's tons of optical illusions out there that are based on what we knew and experienced. Then if those so called calibration were never existed in the first place... would the old man sees any optical illusion for the first time when his blindfold is removed? Also can technology be used to recalibrate our brain to see through all optical illusions?

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    $\begingroup$ Is this worldbuilding or philosophy? In other words, it seems like you are prompting a discussion, not looking for a solution to a worldbuilding problem $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 28, 2021 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ This is more of a neuroscience question, one for which Hubel and Wiesel won a Nobel Prize, but doesn't seem on topic for the Worldbuilding SE. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2021 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ It strikes me that it would be relatively simple to re-write this slightly, add the reality-check tag and make it on topic. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2021 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ downvoted for obvious flaws of premise, which current answer clarify why, but sure the q has nothing to do with philosophy, and in my opinion it perfectly on topic. Having proper answer on nature of illusion and how technology could help there - for sure would improve quality of someone's work. And as part, or a subset of augmented reality topics it can potentially be reused by other authors. Technology can help, but it is not 100% foolproof. I mean if a magician throws a ball out of his hand behind his back - the illusion here is not what you see or do not see - but what you assume. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Nov 28, 2021 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch This question relates to the fields of experimental psychology, neuroscience, and biology. It has very little relation with philosophy. Optical illusions were studied extensively by psychologists and neuroscientists. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Nov 28, 2021 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


No, the person would be functionally blind. Experiments have already been conducted with animals (dogs) EDIT: as I was reminded it was CATS raised from birth in visually deprived environments that prove the visual cortex needs exposure to stimulus in order to grow, develop and function normally like all other parts of the brain. Deprive it of that stimulus and the brain will divert resources to other senses in order to compensate. 2nd EDIT: depending on how long the 'old' man lived there might be some improvement in visual acuity but it is still extremely unlikely the man would 'see' anywhere near normally before he died.

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    $\begingroup$ Wasn't it kittens? IIRC, Hubel and Wiesel were the first and others followed, e.g. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-food/201404/… $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2021 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, you could be right. I couldn't remember the details after reading about it at Uni. As I recall (and correct me if I am wring ) it was two sets plus a control of (insert favorite small fluffy pet here) raised in sealed rooms with either vertical stripes or horizontal stripes as the only visual cues. The animals raised in the 'vertical' room couldn't process/see horizontal visual cues and vice versa. And neither set was capable of visually navigating 'normal' environments. Imagine trying to justify reintroducing that experiment now! $\endgroup$
    – Mon
    Nov 28, 2021 at 9:20
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    $\begingroup$ with a link and some excerpts from it, it could be a perfect answer about flaws of the premise(and partially an answer due to that) $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Nov 28, 2021 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ I second this. One of my course books in college spoke about this very subject, where a man was born blind but modern technology restored his vision as an adult. At one point when he was still on the 7th floor in the hospital recovering from the procedure a nurse found him hanging out the window trying to reach down to touch the cars driving by on the street (they quickly pulled him away from the window). Because he wasn't used to having vision he often didn't know what he was looking at, and couldn't do a lot of things like determine how far away objects are that he saw. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2021 at 3:42

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