How to mess with a cat, chapter 374
April 11, 2017 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Cats vs. the rotating snake version of the peripheral drift illusion. One is merely mesmerized but another takes a more aggressive approach. These cats have other priorities. Is this cat dumb, or is he too smart to participate in his human's science experiments? Does the illusion have the same effect on dogs? Apparently some prefer to be more interactive. [no narration in any video, just music, animal noises, human laughter]
posted by AFABulous (22 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Raise your hand if you're going to try this on your cats tomorrow.
posted by rtha at 8:13 PM on April 11, 2017 [8 favorites]


Tonight, actually. Printing now...
posted by Hatashran at 8:24 PM on April 11, 2017


The greyhound is amazing.

I'm not trying to deny anyone's fun because all these videos are an absolutely delight, but I've known cats and I would like to see more A/B testing. Because it's been my experience if you show a piece of paper to a cat -- any piece of paper -- the cat will likely attack it. Or lie down on it. Or a combination of the two. Because they are cats and these are the things they do.
posted by darksong at 8:29 PM on April 11, 2017 [5 favorites]


The only way my idiot cats would be in any way interested in these illusions is if I had printed them out and was myself hypnotised by them, because then they would think I was reading something, and then they would come and lay down on the thing that I am reading.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:35 PM on April 11, 2017 [10 favorites]


Yeah I'm not totally convinced that either the cats or dogs are seeing the illusion so much as just intrigued by a piece of paper.

However, put a cucumber behind a cat while it's eating and it will definitely see a snake.
posted by picklenickle at 9:39 PM on April 11, 2017


Yeah I was wondering if they tried a blank sheet for control
posted by thelonius at 10:34 PM on April 11, 2017


And if nothing moves when looking at them how worried should I be?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:49 PM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't know why this would seem implausible- cat's brain processes visual input in a way that suggests a small thing is moving and bam, cat's attacking it. That's how cats work.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 PM on April 11, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think my brain must be broken. The rotating snake one totally doesn't work for me and I'm definitely following the instructions.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:12 PM on April 11, 2017


There are instructions ? I scrolled down that page and was instantly greeted by rotating snakes.
posted by Pendragon at 11:44 PM on April 11, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't know why this would seem implausible

Well, I for one have no idea at all if cats even perceive the same optical illusions we do
posted by thelonius at 11:48 PM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]


Don't know about my cat, but I just spent a good couple minutes staring at the rotating snake image as if it were one of those Magic Eye posters, and now I need to lie down for a while.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:23 AM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


Funny enough there's what can only be called a pastiche of a scientific paper that investigated this very question: Bååth, R., Seno, T., & Kitaoka, A. (2014). Cats and Illusory Motion, "published" in some sketchy open access journal. Slightly more seriously, there's legit neuroscientific evidence that cats can perceive some motion illusions, since their visual cortices' responses to them are similar to real motion responses.

For the really curious, here's a good review of what's known about cat cognition in general. Spoiler: it's not much, in part because (what a surprise) cats are famously difficult to manage as research subjects...
posted by informavore at 3:34 AM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


However, put a cucumber behind a cat while it's eating and it will definitely see a snake.

I tried this. My cat licked the cucumber.
posted by srboisvert at 6:02 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


I tried this. My cat licked the cucumber.

Can you put this into a cutsey poem form please... It should end with "I lik the cuke"
posted by some loser at 6:29 AM on April 12, 2017


My name is Cat
And when I want
To be mor cleen
I know wat's wat
I lik myself
And then I puke
And wen u try to frighten me
I don be skerred
I lik the cuke
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 AM on April 12, 2017 [6 favorites]


(doesn't really work I know)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 AM on April 12, 2017


In the name of science, let's all try to remember to tidy up our work areas before we begin filming our experiments.

Thank you,

The slightly picky management
posted by janey47 at 8:09 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


cats are famously difficult to manage as research subjects...
posted by AFABulous at 8:14 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here's the same illusion in a YouTube video if you don't have a printer. (I am not responsible for your iPad or other screen.)
posted by AFABulous at 8:19 AM on April 12, 2017


in that one video they had a "control" paper, and if you pause the video and look at it, the snakes in that one is in fact, not rotating. The video's description has a link to the control image... but that one also slightly drifts for me.
posted by numaner at 9:03 AM on April 12, 2017


Many thanks to ROU_Xenophobe

I laughed for reals.
posted by some loser at 4:54 PM on April 12, 2017


« Older A good handwritten letter is a creative act...   |   The online foreclosure bid to redeem my city's... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments