You don’t always see what you’re seeing.

University of Arizona brain researchers are using EEG machines to detect everyday invisible objects – the things your brain sees that it’s keeping from you:

“We were asking the question of whether the brain was processing the meaning of the objects that are on the outside of these silhouettes,” [doctoral candidate Jay] Sanguinetti said. “The specific question was, ‘Does the brain process those hidden shapes to the level of meaning, even when the subject doesn’t consciously see them?”

The answer, Sanguinetti’s data indicates, is yes.

Study participants’ brainwaves indicated that even if a person never consciously recognized the shapes on the outside of the image, their brains still processed those shapes to the level of understanding their meaning.

“The participants in our experiments don’t see those shapes on the outside; nonetheless, the brain signature tells us that they have processed the meaning of those shapes,” said [study advisor Mary] Peterson. “But the brain rejects them as interpretations, and if it rejects the shapes from conscious perception, then you won’t have any awareness of them.”