Opening Your Eyes Delivers 40% of Your Perception, The Rest Is From Your Memories or Patterns

Lately I have working on software for operations and part of what hit me is this point from Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull.

Pete Docter’s ambitious film that would eventually become known as Inside Out. During the intensive research phase of the film, Pete was surprised to hear from a neuroscientist that only about 40 percent of what we think we “see” comes in through our eyes. “The rest is made up from memory or patterns that we recognize from past experience,” he told me.

Animators have been trained to be observant— they know that viewers subconsciously register even the most subtle motions and that those, in turn, trigger recognition. If animators want a character to reach for something to their left, they anticipate that a split-second earlier by having the character move ever so subtly to the right. While most people aren’t aware of it, this is what the brain expects to see— it’s a tell, if you will, that signals what’s to come. We can use that tell to guide the audience’s eyes wherever we want them to look. Or conversely, if we want to surprise people, we can leave it out, making the unforeseen motion more startling. In Toy Story 2, for example, when Jessie talks about her fears, she twists one of her braids around her finger. Seeing this little motion, you sense her state of mind, perhaps without even knowing why. The meaning in that simple action is supplied by the audience , though —by their own experiences and emotional intelligence.

Catmull, Ed; Wallace, Amy (2014-04-08). Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (Kindle Locations 2767-2776). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Here is the movie that Pete Docter was researching for.


Inside Out

U.S. Release Date: June 19, 2015

From the tepuis of South America to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In 2015, he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all - inside the mind of an 11-year-old named Riley. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city,
house and school.

Director:  Pete Docter
Co-Director: Ronnie del Carmen
Producer:  Jonas Riveras