The Hub of Being (16-1-24) Owls


Owl eyes are round but not spherical. They are immobile, tubular structures which sit on the front of an owl’s face like a pair of built-in binoculars.

Owl brains are much different than those in humans. For one, owls lack the neocortex humans have, which is active during higher-order sensory perception. Yet owls visually process scenery the same way that people do.

A critical task of the visual system is to arrange incoming visual information into a meaningful scene of objects and background. ~ Israeli neurobiologist Zahar Yael et al

Seeing an object as salient requires a preceding process: grouping the object and background elements as perceptual wholes. Whether person or owl, visual elements moving together gives a strong cue for grouping.

In short, owls and people see the world in the same way. If brain circuitry dictated sight, the identicality of visual processing in owls and humans could not be reconciled. (The physiological differentiation of brain parts indicates that brains are not analogous to general-purpose computers, even though mentation acts that way. See Spokes 4: The Ecology of Humans.)

Basic visual perception shares universal principles across species. ~ Israeli neurobiologist Yoram Gutfreund et al