Our sensory system is far from perfect, in fact it is quite imperfect, by employing a euphemism. If we focus on our vision, we discover that we see a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our eyes are a prodigy, but they see little, very little, especially if we compare ourselves with the supervision of some superheroes.
There is a fragment of one of my favorite science fiction novels in which we can, for a moment, put ourselves in the shoes of someone who is able to see more of what we see. The novel is The stars of my destiny, from Alfred Bester:
I saw the room as a constant flow of thermal emanations ranging from hot glitters to cold shadows. I saw the blinding magnetic patterns of the clocks, phones, lights and locks. He saw and recognized people for the characteristic configurations of heat radiating their faces and bodies. He saw, around each head, an aura of the weak electromagnetic emanation of the brain and, sizzling through the thermal radiation of each body, the ever changing tonality of the muscles and nerves.
Contemplating the world like this must be amazing. Too bad we can't ask the animals, because many of them also have similar "super powers". Many of them can see better at both ends of the light spectrum, ultraviolet and infrared.
As he explains Antonhy Smith in his book The mind:
Some invertebrates seem capable of detecting nuclear radiation. The sight of the hawks and eagles make us ashamed of ours and that of the owls is even better. Prawns recognize depth with an accuracy of one centimeter. Bats and dolphins, among others, use echo with extraordinary ability. Earthworms are very sensitive to earthquakes.
Supervision at your fingertips
Thanks to technology, it is likely that in the near future we will be able to introduce new data such as infrared or ultraviolet vision into our brain, or even weather or stock market data. This new brain 2.0At the beginning, you will not know how to manage the new information flows, but as you practice you will manage them better and better. As one who learns a foreign language.
Many are the steps that are being taken in this direction, such as the work of researchers Gerald Jacobs Y Jeremy Nathans, which took a human photopigment gene (a retina protein that absorbs light of a specific wavelength) and grafted it into color-blind mice. The result was that these mice began to see the color.
To prove it, the mice had to press a button to receive a reward. The button is blue. Next to it is a red button that offers no rewards. In each test the position of the buttons is changed. The modified mouse learns to select the blue button, while the normal mouse cannot distinguish the buttons, always choosing the random button. The brains of the new mice, then, have learned the new dialect that their eyes speak.
Or as the neurologist summarizes David Eagleman in his book Incognito:
Thus, being able to introduce another type of data into the brain is not a theoretical idea; There are already several ways. It might seem surprising how easy it is to operate with new types of data, though, as summarized by Paul Bach-y-Rita for decades of research: “There is nothing more than to give the information to the brain and he ends up deciphering it.