We know that when we spend time in front of a computer screen, our eyes get used to a lot of colours.
But what if there were no distractions?
That is the idea behind a new video game that lets you look at a screen and focus on the screen instead of your eyes.
The game, called Luma, is available on Google Play and is free to download.
You are tasked with looking at a set of dots that appear on a screen.
As you look around, the dots move and change colour according to what is happening on the display.
The dots are coloured green if the player is looking at the screen and red if the screen is moving.
This allows you to focus on what is on the other side of the screen.
It’s the brainchild of Dr Sarah Stott of the University of York and colleagues.
“When you have a big screen, the brain is trying to process a lot more information,” Dr Stott told New Scientist.
“So we wanted to change that, so that the brain wasn’t processing all the information it was given by the screen.”
The game was inspired by the work of scientists who have used the brain’s attention system to look at the world through the eyes of a monkey.
It works by sending signals to the brain to change its perception of what is going on in the world.
The brain then responds to those signals to help the body focus on certain aspects of the scene.
The team behind the project say that Luma works by mimicking the process of the brain changing colour.
So if the monkey is looking away from a screen, it will make the dots change colour to make it look more like a green dot.
If the monkey looks up at the same screen, however, it won’t change colour.
That is because it is trying not to move.
Instead, it sends signals to send a visual message to the retina.
This sends a signal to the eye that a visual object is on a retina and that the eye can focus on that object.
“We thought it was really interesting that this process of colour processing was so efficient in monkeys, and it has to do with the fact that they have such large amounts of sensory information,” said Dr Stotts.
The system works in the brain.
When a monkey looks at a single dot on a single screen, that dot has a specific colour.
The monkey then sends a similar signal to a neighbouring dot.
This creates a new colour and the next time the monkey looked at the dot it will use the same signal to change the colour.
“That’s why you see green dots in the game, because that’s what we have been doing with the brain,” Dr Sott said.
“It’s trying to use a bunch of different signals, so the brain doesn’t have to use all the colours it has been given.”
The team is now working on making the system even more efficient by using neural networks.
These networks are able to learn the patterns of how the brain processes information, which helps it to respond faster to new information.
In this way, it can improve the speed at which it processes new information, and to make the process faster.
“The brain is very good at making sense of what’s going on, so it can use a lot less information than other brain systems,” Dr Smith said.
The researchers are now working with the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence to test the system with monkeys.
“Our aim is to get it out into the wild, and test it in humans,” Dr Hines said.
And the team is working on a commercial version.
“If we can get it to work with people, we think that would be really interesting,” Dr Johnson said.
New Scientist: Watch our video here.