Saccades

Today, while read­ing Tom Van­der­bilt’s The Plea­sure and Pain of Speed from Nau­tilus’ Issue 9, I learned about the sac­cade. This is the term for the rapid move­ment of eyes between fix­a­tion on dif­fer­ent objects. Our visu­al per­cep­tion is basi­cal­ly turned off dur­ing this time — which, appar­ent­ly, makes up about 60 — 90 min­utes of our day.

This ties in nice­ly to an anthro­po­log­i­cal the­o­ry I have that I wrote about over a decade ago: The Space Between Thoughts. I think we have an instinc­tu­al aware­ness that our per­cep­tions are incom­plete — and then we come up with all kinds of sto­ries and the­o­ries for what hap­pens in those gaps, and where our per­cep­tion fails. What hap­pens dur­ing a sac­cade. The sac­cade is where the coin reap­pears — where the mag­ic happens.

It’s nice to final­ly have a word for it.

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