New research shows that eyesight markedly improves when people are experimentally induced to believe that they can see especially well. Their expectations actually enhanced visual clarity, rather than simply increasing alertness.
The findings add to the evidence that visual perception depends not just on relaying information from your eyes to your brain, but also on experience-based assumptions about what you can see. Those expectations can lead people to ignore unusual objects and events.
Discovery News reports:
"... men and women who saw a reversed eye chart -- arranged so that letters became progressively larger further down the chart ... accurately reported more letters... These results reflect people's expectation, based on experience with standard eye charts, that letters are easy to see at the top and become increasingly difficult to distinguish on lower lines ..."