Principles of Design #26 – Constancy

Jul 01 2011 Published by Neil Gains under design

“They must often change who would be constant.”  - Confucius

Constancy is the human tendency to perceive objects as unchanging, despite changes in sensory inputs and real world attributes.  Although perspective, lighting, colour and size constantly change as we move in the world, we perceive objects to remain constant and unchanging.  For example, when we view a person at a distance, they form a smaller image on the eye’s retina than when they are closer to us.  Despite this, we perceive the size of the person to be constant, helping our brains to eliminate the need to continuously reinterpret objects in the world.  As with all aspects of perception, what we experience is much more than simply receiving sensory inputs, as our brain has to reconcile such inputs with our previous understanding about the properties of things in the world.  This constancy is manifest in a number of ways. Read more »

No responses yet

Principles of Design #20 – Three-Dimensional Projection

Apr 17 2011 Published by Neil Gains under design

From two dimensions to three

Although our eyes collect visual information on a two dimensional surface, our brains do a remarkable job of recreating the world in the ‘surround vision’ of three dimensions.  We all have an in-built tendency to see objects and patterns as three-dimensional, especially when certain visual cues are present, and these mental models are the basis of many common visual illusions too. Read more »

No responses yet