If you were a 90s kid, you have probably spent some of your childhood in finding Waldo in ‘Where’s Waldo?’. Or also known as ‘Where’s Wally?’. They were a hit with my family and I. We were always trying to find Waldo when we got hold of the book.
If you’re unfamiliar, this is a front cover of a particular book.
What made them interesting is the fact that it was difficult to find Waldo. There are different difficulty levels. Some were easier than others while some may take quite a while before you realized Waldo was staring back at you all along. The colours looked similar to what Waldo was wearing and the book made it difficult by disgusing all of the characters. From a distant, they all looked like Waldo.
Now why was it difficult? Our human eyes are trained to spot things that are different. These differences may differ in terms of colour, size, texture and many other attributes. If there is a lady in red standing out on the field, you most probably will spot her first and not that one green leaf across the field.
There is much to discover but scientists know that microsaccades may be resposible in helping us search for things that all look quite similar. Or rather they may be responsible as to how the brain finds obects of interest.
Microsaccades are jerky eye movements that may be linked to our neurological development. They play a role in our eye search behaviour. When something is found, the jerky eye movement gets more active and sends a signal to the brain.
Now give it a go and exercise your microsaccades!
In case you’re wondering, this is how Waldo looks like. Find this guy!
Where’s Waldo is not the only way we can exercise our microsaccades. Here is another way you can exercise them! Try to spot the panda.