Aim Without Eyes

A large blue and red cube frame that has purple and green information banners hanging between top and bottom bars of the cube. There are also square orange and white shapes hanging from the frame.

Humans judge the position of their body through sight and proprioception.

How it works

Hold one hand up in the air, close your eyes and touch your nose with one finger of your other hand. Now lift your finger off your nose and reach up to touch the tip of your thumb.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • How accurate was your aim?
  • Does your aim get better with practice?

Background

As well as using our sense of sight, we have stretch receptors in our joints, muscles and tendons which signal to the brain where our body is positioned and where it’s moving. These stretch receptors are called proprioceptors.

Finding the science in your world

When playing sport, or dancing and exercising, the human brain analyses and responds to the position of limbs and torso, to plan the body's next move ahead (even before looking in the next direction).