Friday, 21 December 2012

Neutrals / Neuroscience

At the moment I love wearing different shades of browns together. It has a vintage-photography, antiquated feel to it. I matched this dark brown bowler hat from Oasap with a honey-coloured skirt and warm brown vintage satchel bag, and a beige lace shirt also from Oasap. Add my new Chelsea boots from Asos in the mix and I think this ended up being a pretty nice outfit. The only frustrating thing about today's outfit was that I took these photos in 35 degree heat - not so much fun - and when I finished, my memory card decided to die. So I had to retake all the photos and I think it's amazing I managed to not look totally grumpy in them all.
blouse - c/o Oasap
hat - c/o Oasap
bag and belt - Vintage
skirt - Wholesale
shoes - Asos

So here's some neuroscience for those who are interested: today I want to share with you all what I find to be one of the most fascinating diseases affecting the brain.

Blindsight refers to the phenomenon in neuroscience where a person is either partially or totally cortically blind (ie can't see), but can still "see" movement. In effect, someone can throw a person with blindsight a ball, and while the person may not be able to see the person or the ball at all, or even know that the ball is being thrown to them, they are still able to reach up and snatch the ball out of the air. While appearing to be blind in a number of tests, people with blindsight will still blink if you clap your hands in front of their faces. One of the most amazing documented cases of blindsight involved this study.

The reason this occurs is due to damage to a specific part of the brain called the visual cortex (V1). When light enters your eye, it is converted into chemical signals which then travel into your brain, and after reaching a kind of optical control centre, these signals travel down different paths. One path, hypothesized to be the more recently evolved, "mammalian pathway" leads to what you see - which is what is damaged in people with blindsight. However, the visual signals from the eye are also thought to travel down a faster, but unconscious, "primitive pathway", allowing the signals to bypass the V1 visual cortex entirely. This is what leads to people with blindsight being able to see without being aware that they are seeing. (If you're interested in the specific anatomy, read more here).

And for anyone who was wondering, the old black and white anatomical drawings are available to buy as prints at the gorgeous etsy store Maps and Posters.


  1. Hello! I must say I'm a bit frightened of neutrals and brown, maybe it's because I'm pale and brunette, or just because I'm too emotionally attached to colour, but it's just something I've never really done. It's quite weird, thinking about it, as you show a great example of how to dress wonderfully in sepia tones. ANd I am loving all of your science-y bits. What I'm currently aiming for is biomed, and even though it's years down the track, opthamology is something I've been pondering on, so this has been particularly interesting (be it all years away).

    1. Did you watch the video here? It's such an amazingly weird phenomena. The TN guy is just like "no I just walked like that because I wanted to" - he didn't even consciously realise there were objects in his way in the corridor.
      BTW I'm shipping out your order today ;) It's all wrapped up and ready to go! Thank you so much for making an order, pretty lady :)

  2. Lovely outfit, I quite like all the neutrals! And thanks for sharing the nifty neuroscience facts!

  3. I love this outfit, really amazing. <3

  4. I find very very VERY interesting the point about neuroscience, I'm a psychologist and I've studied a little bit about it in my neuropsychology subject :)! I've always loved the theme of aphasia and language disorders and the intricate problems of psychopathology such as schizophrenia, aspergers, disorders such as amnesia ...

    I'm also fascinated with quantum physics and it's so nice findinc someone around the blogger's world who is interested in things like this too... I don't feel alone anymore!

    1. You'll lose me at quantum physics (I like to pretend I understand it but really I don't at all) but I agree! I really want to be a neuroscientist to both study (and help figure out how to cure) those kinds of diseases! I'm so glad you appreciate the science stuff I put on my blog :) Thanks so much for commenting!

  5. oh god, you look so wonderful. brown is totally your colour <3 *_*

  6. Neurology and Neutrals what a lovely title.
    I love both of those things! And I definitely agree that
    shades of brown together do have a vintage antique effect and
    you can't go wrong with that. I love almost every detail about
    this specific outfit however, if you'll forgive my honestly, I think the
    boots could have been brown to complement your pretty belt and purse.
    But! That's just a personal opinion ^^ I still think it's lovely by all means down to the little acorn necklace.

    Also speaking of Neurology based topics I'm currently wanting to read
    'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat'. I'm really interested by how different people with the same brain disorders or brain malfunctions live. I also take interest in Ramachandran's work in behavioral neurology and visual psychophysics (what a mouthful lol). But alas
    right now I'm watching anime and being a slacker instead of reading
    up on stuff. ;__;

    1. yeah i did think about that too... but i just really love these new boots haha. Plus i was so over taking photos by this point, it was sooo hot yesterday. just imagine i'm wearing my brown vintage brogues that i wear all the time ;) if i were to do it again I'd wear them.
      I haven't read that oliver sacks book yet for some reason - i've read all his other ones! give me a review of it when you're done haha.
      ahh, ramachandran. his books are what first inspired me to get interested in neuroscience. he's got some really interesting ideas.

      and you need a break sometimes! Likewise, I spent my afternoon watching adventure time and i think afternoon well spent ;)

  7. I love the colour of your hair here! It's so rich and beautiful. I'm never sure any more which hair is real and which is wigs but I hope that complimenting it real or otherwise still counts! :)

    1. Hahaha thank you :) and don't worry, even my grandma who I saw the other day for Christmas was confused as to whether my hair was longer and had grown really (really) fast, or I was wearing a wig. It totally still counts :)

  8. I really like this neutrals look. I've been thinking about putting something together like this for a while, but like the first commenter I've shied away because I'm so pale and I didn't think it would suit me, but I've seen countless pale people wearing neutrals with great success. By the way, I really like that you talk about science here. I'm no science person, but the way you explain things is really clear and makes it interesting. I think you can be a great teacher.

  9. I LOVE your blog!!!! I actually also have a fashion/science blog mash up, although you do it much better! I love your info here on blindsight and the graphic. So cool! Have you read Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachandran?? It is amazing and it has some cool stuff about blindsight. If you haven't read it I heartily recommend it!

    Looking forward to seeing what you post next! I seriously adore your blog!!


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