Flashing checkerboard patterns let us see a picture that doesn’t exist

A ghostly figure

Objects can be visible even if we don’t see them

Mint Images/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

You don’t have to directly see an object to perceive it. Through a process called ghost imaging, patterned light shone on an object is used to recreate an image of the object without ever directly taking its picture. Understanding how our eyes can build up an image from simple checkerboard patterns of light could help us gain a deeper insight into the internal workings of the brain’s visual cortex.

Ghost imaging is an unusual way of taking a picture. Light …