COSMOS Throwback Thursday: How Do Humans Recognize Patterns?

On last week’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, host Neil deGrasse Tyson explained how humans developed their eye for recognizing patterns.

Over centuries of of evolution, humans’ pattern recognition skills determined natural selection. Hunters skilled at spotting prey and predator and telling poisonous plants from healthy ones they had a better chance of survival than those blind to the patterns, enabling the survivors to pass on those pattern-friendly genes to future generations.

As it turns out, Carl Sagan pondered the same question on the original Cosmos, exploring how our brains process symbols and sounds to find commonalities. Sagan explores how the patterns on the backs of Heike crabs may have determined whether fisherman ate them or not – and why.

Watch the video below, and tune in to an all-new Cosmos this Monday at 10P.

Comments

  1. K. Arrandale
    St. Louis, MO
    March 30, 2014, 4:55 pm

    Re: all Cosmos programs so far have been so very choppy: don’t know where blame belongs – writers or editors. As an example – deGrasse Tyson went into the ‘Hall of Extinctions’ & announced “there have been 5 Great Extinctions”, then went on to only talk about one – mentioning NO others. Really – how is this useful, never mind the skipping around from topic to unrelated topics on every program.

  2. […] hidden images don’t affect everybody equally. Which is a bit strange when you think about it. Pattern recognition is supposed to be one of the things that separates us from the rest of the animal world. You would […]

  3. […] looking at photos. We don’t always see the same thing. Which is interesting really, because pattern recognition is supposed to be one of the things that separates us from the rest of the animal world. […]

  4. […] (I love fantasy and flights of imagination and magic and mystery and synchronicity and serendipity, but I’m also a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson–examples here and here.) […]