Optical illusions are not universal, and the differences in how we perceive them can help us to understand cognition. The famous Müller-Lyer illusion is not universal, but differs by culture, with some African tribes unable to see the illusion at all - possibly because of differences in environment. Individuals with autism seem less sensitive to the Sheppard's table illusion, which might help improve an understanding of the condition. Differences in responses are possible because different illusions trick your brain in different ways. BBC has a great history of the evolution of optical illusions, and, finally, here are some auto-kinectic illusions, because they are awesome.
Time for a new OK Go video!
In the spirit of "Cog," here's Honda's "Illusions." Making of here. Via Hendrick Ball's "Grand Illusions."
Motion-Induced Blindness plus 105 other Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions.
How much data can you shove through a fiber optic cable? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Using the ITU standard 50 GHz dense wavelength division multiplexing grid, not only can you easily do 80 x 10 Gbps channels in a single fiber pair, but recent advances in modulation technology mean that with QPSK, 4QAM or 16QAM modulation, 1/80th of a dark fiber pair can carry a 100 Gbps signal in the optical space previously occupied by a single long distance 10 Gbps circuit.
A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.
The cyclotrope is a cycle of 18 images that is spun at a certan speed so that the frame rate of the camera filming it gives the illusion of animation. Created and animated by tim wheatley. Like a Zoetrope or Phenakistoscope but using a bicycle wheel. [more inside]
World's Oldest Optical Illusion Found? A 15,000 year old piece of an atlatl (spear chucker) shows definite signs of being a Gestalt shift optical illusion (as demonstrated here, here, and in the classic duck/rabbit picture). Although not as well defined as modern optical illusions (like the really tripped out Neave Strobe), it likely demonstrates a stage of cognitive awareness in human psychological development.
"It is only fitting that the story of the brain should be a visual one, for the visuals had the ancients fooled for millenniums. The brain was so ugly that they assumed the mind must lie elsewhere. Now those same skeletal silhouettes glow plump and brightly colored, courtesy of a variety of inserted genes encoding fluorescent molecules. A glossy new art book, “Portraits of the Mind,” hopes to draw the general reader into neuroscience with the sheer beauty of its images." Slide Shows: The Beautiful Mind and Portraits of the Mind [more inside]
Crazy Cubes optical illusion. (SLYT)
Blind Spot Optical Illusions. Online seminar from McCormick Lab at Yale lets you find your own visual blind spots. After that, you can make Monet's sun, and Van Gogh's ear, disappear. [more inside]
The Mighty Optical Illusions website contains a ton of things to mess with your visual cortex, from 3D chalk drawings to impossible objects; spot-the-object games, tests, and the just plain spooky, among many other categories. Or you can just keep hitting the Random Illusion button until you lose yourself.
"Of all the various types of optical objects known to exist, far and away the most magnificent and attractive are the optical fans." These sly spying devices, now rare collector curiosities, were once a more discreet and chic alternative for spying on your neighbors in fashionable gatherings than opera glasses, spyglasses, or jealousy glasses.
Is the dancer spinning clockwise or counterclockwise? An optical illusion. [more inside]
RONJA is an optical networking device that can be built by nearly everyone, using readily available components and using only free software.
Your daily dose of perception-bending. Stare at the center of this video (wmv or flash) for a minute or two then look away from the screen at your surroundings. You'll experience an interesting and somewhat disconcerting effect. Not appropriate for anyone prone to headaches or seizures.
Mr Angry & Mrs Calm. This illusion will BLOW YOUR MIND.
Masters of Deception "There are a number of incredible artistic works featured in Masters of Deception, which require movement to appreciate their full impact. Additionally, I had in my possession various interviews with some of the book's featured artists that I wanted to share with my readership. Unfortunately, the publisher was unwilling to produce a CD to accompany the book. I have created this web site, therefore, to augment and enhance the reader's experience by presenting those works and interviews that I could not present in book form." Al Seckel. enjoy.
Red and green dots have never been so interesting. At least to a geek like me. I love it when my brain plays tricks on me.
Remember the weirdness with Bush's hypnotic rainbow tie last week? Now you too can experiment with creating mesmerizing patterns on Project LITE's Moire page.
[via j-walk blog]
[via j-walk blog]
sandlot science... optical illusions and visual oddities... hundreds of exhibits and interactive demonstrations.
Pre-cinema devices & diversions - before film, multimedia amusements ranged from zoetropes and magic lantern shows to praxinoscopes and kinetescopes. Whether you're a film buff or a photographer or simply just prone to nostalgia for a day when the world seemed less jaded, you will love this site - take the time to take the tour.
A professor of vision science at MIT understands that life isn't just black and white, even though we often see it that way. This amazing illusion proves it, and these slick, fast-loading, Flash demonstrations of lightness perception show how it's done. (My favorite is the "Koffka Ring".) White paper here, for deeper background.