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We're only seeing a fraction of the world around us. Amy Herman teaches the art of perception; if you're game to test your visual intelligence, take one of her perception challenges here.
07 September, 2016
Sometimes it’s not what is there, it’s what isn’t. Let’s rewind.
<p>Amy Herman is an art historian, lawyer, and the author of <i>Visual Intelligence</i>, a book that explains how altering and sharpening your perspective can change your life, both professionally and personally. Herman created, designed and conducts all sessions of ‘The Art of Perception’, an education program that was initially used to help medical students improve their observation skills. Sometimes in diagnostics, you’re not looking for what you can see, but what you can’t – this is called the 'pertinent negative'. The same goes for investigations, and so the program was adapted for the New York City Police Department.</p> <p>Try one of Herman’s perception tests, which she runs you through in the video above. Better perception and communication – two key takeaways of Herman’s visual intelligence lessons – can save money, reputations and lives in business, and can also be an incredible asset in our personal lives when it comes to interpreting situations, noticing important details, and having open and effective communication.</p> <p>The example above, which uses René Magritte’s artwork, is an incredible reminder of how much detail is around us that we don’t register and how we can be more conscious in our perception.</p> <p>The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon backs this up. Baader-Meinhof is a cognitive bias also known as frequency illusion, where once you see or learn something – an unfamiliar word or new visual symbol for example – that thing keeps appearing over and over everywhere you go, where before it was never there. </p> <p>But it was always there, you just never saw it. This isn’t some mystical occurrence or a series of "freaky" coincidences; we fail to notice thousands of pieces of information every day, and it’s only when our attention is deliberately drawn to something new that it registers, and our brains – incredible pattern-recognition machines that they are – then identify and favor that symbol or word when it is anywhere in our proximity. </p> <p>There is more to discover in the world than is ever possible, but by enhancing your visual intelligence and perception skills, you can certainly make a more sizable dent. </p> <p>Amy Herman is the author of <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780544381056"><i>Visual Intelligence:Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life</i></a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780544381056"><img height="150" src="%5Cr%5Cnhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/edge-misc-assets/Book+Covers/Amy+herman.jpg" width="225"></a></p>
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Rene Magritte perception Amy Herman visual intelligence pertinent negative NYPD Baader-Meinhof pattern recognition detail videos