Optical and Sensory Illusions, Creativity and the Comparison Process (COMP )
By Herb Wiggins, discoverer/creator of the Comparison Process//COMP Theory/Model, 14 Mar. 2014, USA.
Optical illusions are “glitches” or errors, in our visual system’s processing of retinal images. This can potentially give important insights into just how our visual cortex processes images from the retina. In the same way that a genetic error can give insights into how normal gene products function, by providing a comparison to normal, so these visual processing errors can also provide insights.
Several of these optical illusions have been presented before, but will go over them once again to provide the foundation for new insights into visual cortical processing. First, the lunar illusion is seen when a full or nearly full moon is just above the horizon, It appears to be larger than when it’s in the sky. The dispelling, correcting, or comparing step is easy to do in this case. Hold up a meter rod, or something similar to it which is graded, and measure the maximum width of the moon above the horizon and then when it’s up in the sky. This will provide a comparison method which will show that it’s an illusion.
Second, there is an illusion which is created when several regular off centered boxes are interposed between straight lines. It creates the illusion that the lines are not straight. Simply laying down a clear plastic straight edge on a printout of the illusion will by Comparison show that at least 2 of the lines are straight, dispelling & correcting this illusion.
Go down the list to the one just under “Jesus illusions”, called “Line illusions”. The one you see is referred to here.
A motion illusion is created when sitting stopped at a light, while in a car, next to a large truck or bus. If the large vehicle begins to move forward, we get a motion illusion that the car is moving backwards. By comparing this illusion to a street sign or something fixed next to the road, the illusion at once is dispelled by the correcting comparison.
If we have a bit of metal in our pocket on a cooler day, & we reach into the pocket and touch part of the metal, we can get an illusion of wetness. Only by feeling around for wetness/liquid and finding none, and feeling the metal’s shape, such as a coin, is the illusion dispelled by this correcting comparison.
If we hear an echo and we move towards it, we can dispel the echo by finding out the actual source of it, the correcting comparison.
Another interesting illusion is that called the Checkerboard illusion, of a green(or gray), stubby cylinder resting on a shaded checkerboard square.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/12/07/optical_illusion_shades _of_grey.html (Phil Plait’s great website.)
Scroll down to this one and the one above, which ALSO, the Cornsweet Illusion, shows the correcting comparison, which, as predicted by the COMP model, corrects it.
In the Checkerboard ILLusion two of the squares, one inside and one outside of the shade from the cylinder, look to be different gray shades. The correcting comparison is created by joining the two squares with the same shade of gray, thus showing they are the same. The comparison derangement is created by each square being simultaneously compared to a different shade of gray, the one being in the shade, the other outside of it. This very Clearly demonstrates the comparison process which has gone awry, and why it’s a very good demonstration of the COMP going on the visual cortex, where all optical illusions are imaged.
All illusions, be they visual, hearing, touching and so forth, are capable of being dispelled by a simple comparison test. Sometimes there is more than one kind of correcting comparison which will work. All visual illusions are created by the comparison process operating in the visual cortex, even if it arises in the retina, in the case of looking at opposite colors, such as purple and yellow objects which are persistently gazed at, and the gaze at once shifts to a white paper target. Simply by waiting for the rhodopsin color pigments of the retina to normalize, the illusion just fades away. Again, the correcting comparison.
The comparison process creates these sensory illusions and can correct them, too. Each illusion can be categorized simply by the kind of illusion it is, and the way in which the illusion is comparison corrected. Once the comparison correction and its corresponding illusion type are categorized, broadly, pattern recognition, will be created by our cortical comparison processors. & then we will begin to understand more and more about how images of all types arise, i.e., edges, lines, shapes, colors, shading, etc. & will give us very likely a much deeper understanding of what kinds of processes are going on in the visual cortex which create the images we see.
Literally, tho, an unlimited number of visual illusions can be created, just because the comparison process is capable of working in an unlimited way every time we see something. This has created a huge number of illusions to work through, but by using this process of illusion/correcting comparison method we should begin to see patterns, and then be able to understand more.
Once we understand visual comparison processes, then we will be given insights into all sorts of cortical comparison processes, such as language, hearing, creativity, memory organization, and so forth, endlessly. That is because the human cortical cell columns, with the exception 2 changes in the motor cortex, are all fundamentally very similar in origin and structure, created out of 5 layers of complex neuronal connections and kinds. This organization must relate directly to function in some way, a structure/function relationship, a COMP. This will allow us to further investigate the exacting neurophysiological processes and connections going on the cortical cell layers of the visual cortex. And that will give us insights into the functioning of the slightly different cortices for the major, functioning areas of the brain. This will give us the structure function relationship between the neurophysiology and how it’s converted to what we see. That is, it will begin to enlighten us specifically as to how the mind works from a neurophysiological basis. This will further permit a good, scientifically valid and reliable understanding of the mind/brain interface. That is the power of the comparison process.
Our cortical cell columns (and similar ones in the great apes and dolphins) exist in 100,000’s of numbers in the gyri of our brain, doing basically one process, the COMP, but with many different variations which can lead to hearing musical notes, or speaking or understanding language, reading (where dyslexia is the key to understanding reading COMPs, again the error of dyslexia can show us the way to understanding normal reading processing by the COMP), our sense of conscience, our consciousness insofar as that uses the Comparison Process.
It will be a LOT of work, trial and error, but that’s how our brain works, and with a better understanding of comprehension, will come many good things in education and medical applications.
Creativity and the COMP
Where does creativity come from? What exactly is the mental process which creates it? The Comparison Process can provide some very good insights. First, consider Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which includes the COMP in it. Einstein held and proved that all distance and time measurements had to arise from having a single, arbitrary point from which we measured distance and time. There was no absolute space or time. When we measure distance, we start at a specific spot in space, and measure from that. Using a ruler, we set it down next to what we want to measure, and COMPARE the length of the object we are measuring against the ruler. It’s a comparison process. With the tape measure we can measure longer distances by making the same comparison against the tape. With an odometer we can also measure this by subtracting the starting distance from the ending distance of the trip. Using a trip odometer, we simply push the button to zero it, thus establishing our starting point from which we compare the distance. In most all cases, measurement is a comparison process, a COMP.
Relativity is called relativity because we measure relative to a fixed point, either in space, or time. Time is a COMP, also, and has been addressed in the Intro of “Le Chanson Sans Fin” Part 1″, already. Relativity is thus a Comparison Process.
When Einstein realized that all measures of distance and time were related to a fixed arbitrary site he got rid of Newton’s absolute space and time postulate. That was his first creative insight & creative leap. It was his first major creative breakthrough. From there things began to get interesting. In “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan, we were taken through Einstein’s thought experiment of what things look like riding on a photon, compared to a normal spot on the earth. He showed that the Lorentz-Fitzgerald equations were in fact what happened when one moved faster and faster close to the speed of light. Time slows down relative to the earth. The Twin paradox was found to be the case. This was based upon a Comparison between time and events on earth compared to speeding up to near light speed.. Again, the comparison of the two created his understanding of a real, physical process.
Then he realized that being in a gravitational field of 9.8 m./Sec.Sq. was the equivalent to accelerating in any vehicle at 9.8 m./sec.Squared. He compared the two and realized it was the same. Again, the COMP. & from that came the rest of his Relativity model. When one is on the surface of the earth, processes operate at a set, fixed time compared to a standard clock. When one is on a high earth orbit, gravity is lessened, and time speeds up, compared to that on earth. Again, the Comparison Process.
Now look, is this a coincidence, that most all measurement is a COMP, that comparing time/mass effects at great speed compared to those on earth, another COMP, and that gravitational forces/acceleration are equivalent, yet ANOTHER COMP, and that time goes faster in a lower gravitational field when compared to a higher gravitational field, yet another COMP? Of course not. Einstein’s creativity rested upon the realization of the importance of 4 basic findings, each of them arising when he made just the right COMP, to create his Relativity. Therefore, Einstein’s creativity which led to Relativity is based upon use of the COMP.
When Charles Darwin on the Galapagos Isles, by his own writing, said that he saw the Finches there, which when he compared them to each other, were very clearly related and in thinking about it, had clearly come from the same, initial species, it was when he had his Eureka moment, just like Einstein. Again, the Comparison Process created the insight. Wallace, who created his version of Evolutionary model from his observations on the isolated isles of Indonesia, found the same thing. By comparing many different species of plants and animals and finding that they too, had common anatomy and forms, and this meant common ancestors. Again, the COMP.
When Archimedes eluded death from the king of Syracuse, who believed his goldsmith had adulterated the gold in his newly made crown, it was again, clearly the COMP. He was threatened with death if he couldn’t prove the crown was adulterated gold or not, the goldsmith having stolen the difference. When he sat down into his bath, his body displaced a volume of water. He at once realized that all materials have volume, and that by measuring (COMP) the volume displaced by water, he could determine a new quantity, called Density, which is mass divided by volume, or grams/cm.cubed. in today’s physics. Not only were his measurements the COMP, but so was his basic arithmetic and algebra the Comparison Process, as was his realization at that historical “Eureka!” moment, that he could solve the problem by displacing the same weight of gold with water and doing the same with the gold crown, and by COMPARING the difference, determine if gold had been replaced in the king’s crown with a base, less dense metal.
Now look, is it reasonable to conclude that the Comparison Process clearly used throughout this creative discovery of density by Archimedes is a sheer coincidence? No! The COMP lies at the heart and core of most all known, testable creativity. It’s simple, it explains a very great deal and very efficiently, too. It can do a very great deal with a single, basic form of processing, the Comparison.
One more case: that of Thomas Edison’s extraordinary career as an inventor. That is, his creativity process. When Edison found the electric light he transformed human life. Darkness was dispelled and illumination efficiently created without risk of fire and with ease of use. It was his greatest discovery. But what was the creative leap which he took, which created the electric light? The Comparison Process gives us this insight. He used a lot of electricity. He had seen that when electricity of high voltage and current ran through metal wire it made it glow. And he reasoned, using the COMP, what if we use a lot more electricity, and make it glow very brightly? THAT was the creative leap, comparing a bit of power making the wire glow red, to a lot of power creating a bright light. It took him much trial and error to find the carbon filament which lasted some 80 hours, but he did. It took longer for us to find tungsten filaments which would last even longer, using the same trial and error seeking the outcome desired, by the Comparison Process. But there it is.
By extension, using the COMP, most all creativity is COMP, creative writing, the use of language to create meaning and explanation, composition of music, creation of all art. It’s the COMP. Creativity is at its very roots, its very wellspring, the COMP. It’s arrived at with all the great inventors of new ideas, they simply have that moment, when they put the right ideas/observations together and out it comes, the new, revolutionizing idea. Be it Relativity, or Quantum Mechanics, or the electric light, Evolution, or the creation of the idea of density. It all has the same, common source, operating in the cortices of our brains. If we can speak language, we can create a string of words which makes sense and describes formerly unknown events/ideas. If we can understand this new string of words, then we have made a discovery of something new, too. It’s all the same cortical process, the COMP.
The COMP unites all sciences and the arts. It unites all languages and mathematics. It unites us with all the living creatures on our planet who use the COMP to recognize territories, to identify food, to see predators and avoid them, at every high level function, to survive. At the biochemical level, the creation of new life, reproduction, is at the DNA level, a form biochemical of the Comparison Process. It’s very simple, but it does almost everything important to us. This is no accident, as has been described more fully before in “Le Chanson…” And it gives us a very unifying, deeply comprehending, with simplicity above all, about how to understand/comprehend, speak, read, order from chaos, organize almost everything we do. From the very elementary particles, to the atoms, to the elements, to the tens of millions of UIPAC compounds, to the very classification of the millions of genus/species of all living forms and viruses, to the very trillions and trillions of Stars (Hertzsprung/Russell Diagram), to our millions of words, dictionaries, thesauri, all indices and encyclopedias. It creates life, it organizes life taking chaos and creating order, it organizes and controls our minds and the very cells which make up our brains. It is the Comparison Process, unifying, universal, generalizing, comprehending. And when we travel outwards into space over the next 1000’s of years, we will meet other space faring species, eventually, and we will create an understanding of their languages using the COMP, as will they create from ours. The COMP unites us with all the universe. It’s a universal decoder of all languages and events. The Comparison Process.