Losing vision when concentrating on problem

  1. I feel stupid mentioning it, but I think this happens to everyone and I'm curious if there is a name for this...sometimes when I'm concentrating on an engaging science problem I will lose awareness of what I'm looking at. I suppose its like a daydream but focused on a problem rather than fantastic.

    Is this a working memory thing? I simply don't have enough to hold what I'm looking at and what I'm thinking about simultaneously?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. UltrafastPED

    UltrafastPED 1,919
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's why it is called "losing focus" - the eye takes in much more information than can be processed, so it needs to "focus" on the items of interest; if you lose interest, the eye muscles relax, which results in a "broad field of view", but not focused on anything in particular.

    Watch how a cat acquires focus (concentration) when it sees a bird ...

    I think it relates to the directives that pass between the working memory and the optical processing system in the optic nerve, etc.
     
  4. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you just lose concentration, or do you lose vision?
     
  5. UltrafastPED: Interesting, I didn't realize my eye muscles were relaxing. Id like to see a video of this happening to someone.

    Evo: just vision.
     
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    You should see a doctor immediately, losing vision is not normal. We can't diagnose, so I won't even speculate on possible causes. I hope things turn out ok.
     
  7. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    I believe I know the effect from my own experience, my take is that it is related to suppression of saccades. Eye seeing the same image for prolonged period of time stops to see it (compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabilized_images).
     
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Hopefully it's nothing, but best to get it checked out, I would never assume even partial vision loss is ok unless verified by a doctor.
     
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