'I saw it with my own eyes' is something people often say. The implication is that since we perceived something, it must have happened.
But what we perceive can be influenced by a great many things, and a strange new experiment shows just how easily our perceptions can be manipulated by our own expectations and assumptions.
In a new study, scientists discovered a "novel perceptual illusion" that effectively reorders the perceived temporal order of events in a sequence.
"Is our perception of time and temporal order a faithful reflection of what happens in the world (or at least what arrives at our retina) or can seemingly higher-level expectations, such as [presumed] causality, affect the order in which we experience events occurring?" writes a team of researchers led by first author and experimental psychologist Christos Bechlivanidis from University College London.