When Your Brain Is Lying To You – Deception of The Senses

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal 4 critical examples of the deception of the senses.

First a quick update:

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14 Ways To Escape A Narcissist or Toxic Relationship
Criticism, contempt, condemnation, stonewalling, silent treatment, defensiveness, manipulation, control and/or any form of abuse – mental, emotional, physical form a toxic relationship. Watch the video

Now, let’s talk about 4 critical examples of the deception of the senses.

Most people pride themselves on being intelligent or at least not easily fooled. What about when it is your own brain that fools you?

1. “I didn’t see it.” Yes, you did; your brain ignored it – Motion Induced Blindness
Has this ever happened to you?

You have been driving for an hour or two – on a busy road, or a lonely road – perhaps you are feeling tired, perhaps you are not. And yet, somehow you missed the turnoff. You’ve driven on this road many times before or it’s the first time and yet you knew to get off at that exit and yet you missed it. The exit exists but you didn’t see it. How is that possible?

Your eyes saw it but your brain ignored it. The same principle applies to when you have been driving for a long time on a road with white or yellow lines down the middle and you see nothing else but the lines.

“I was very alert and watching the road, officer. He just came out of nowhere and smacked my car…”

This is known as motion-induced blindness – the brain ignores or discards information at its own discretion. If your brain consciously registered every sight and every sound and every smell whenever you are moving, you would become completely overwhelmed! 

2. “I felt it with my hands so I know it is real.” Of course, you did, and you’re still wrong

Take a book and a metal boor; place a hand on each of the objects. Now tell me which of the two objects is colder?

The metal bar, you say.

Wrong. We made sure they are both exactly the same temperature.

The metal bar feels colder because it is a thermal conductor and therefore it drops the temperature of your hand faster than the book which is a thermal insulator maintain the temperature.

See your brain just fooled you again; you were actually responding to the temperature of your own hand which was dropping in temperature – not the metal bar.

The experience of a traumatic event (threat to survival) also impacts the brain’s perception and memory coding and this is the reason many sexual assault victims can clearly remember extremely minor points but not major points of the attack.

3. “The red wine is bold with blackcurrant overtones.” It’s white wine you dummy!

You taste the red wine and you make extensive notes about its flavor. About ten minutes later, the researchers reveal to you that it is white wine with red coloring – Pinot Gris, to be exact. It’s okay; we won’t rescind your membership to the London wine club….

Your brain fooled you because it determines taste and flavor by including the senses of sight and smell. (Memory and the association between colors and flavor also play a critical role in your judgment or interpretation of the flavor.) You’re not alone: this study was repeated with various wine experts around the world and they were all fooled. 

If you don’t believe me; drink some hot chocolate in an orange or cream colored cup; the chocolate will taste so much better and so much more, well, chocolaty! 

4. “I’m not an idiot – I can see clearly – and those lines are clearly the same size.” No they are not – the longer one is shorter!

Look at this drawing. It’s obvious that the black vertical line to the left is longer than the black vertical line on the right?

Which line is longer? Your brain is wrong unless you actually measured them…


Measure them. The line on the left is shorter than the line on the right. Your brain fooled you yet again!


The brain fooled you because of the context of the lines. It changed your perception.

The French philosopher Rene Descartes argued that our senses deceive us and therefore our beliefs acquired through our senses cannot be trusted – we must suspend our judgments of those beliefs.

The problem for Descartes was that he thought our senses were interpreting information based on our mind when in actuality, given what science has revealed about the brain, we now know that the interpretation is first happening by the brain and then the mind.

What does all of this mean? What is its significance?

Before making conclusions about truth, we must acknowledge that our senses can be deceiving and therefore truth can only be determined with additional input such as logic, thinking, reasoning and additional questioning.

Accordingly, perhaps what you thought you saw or what you thought happened didn’t actually happen that particular way!

If you need personal help to change your subconscious beliefs and adjust the perspective, the way you view something that happened in your life – book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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