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Directions It’s pretty straight forward… :-P However, just a tip… some of the examples have a lot of white space around them. I recommend cutting most of the white space out so it doesn’t look too empty. Maybe back them with construction paper or something. Comments

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optical illusions v1 0

Directions

It’s pretty straight forward… :-P However, just a tip… some of the examples have a lot of white space around them. I recommend cutting most of the white space out so it doesn’t look too empty. Maybe back them with construction paper or something.

Comments

I’d be more than happy to hear what people think of this. E-mail comments, questions, marriage proposals, and lawsuit notices to: jbarron1@ksc.mailcruiser.com Oh, and if you don’t mind… e-mail me if you use it so I know where it ends up. Just curious! 

Optical Illusionsv1.0

slide2

Optical Illusions

“An optical illusion is characterized by visually perceived images that, at least in common sense terms, are deceptive or misleading.” –Wikipedia.org

Most people have seen an optical illusion at some point in their lives. Maybe it was a geometric shape that would be impossible to replicate in reality… maybe you’ve seen shapes appear to move as you stare at them on a sheet of paper... or maybe you’ve seen colors changing as you look around an image.

There are tons of optical illusions out there; but have you ever wondered what makes them optical illusions? How do they work? How can you see something you know doesn’t exist?

Well, I’m not going to dig into the scientific reasons for it all… but I’ll give a brief definition, then lots of examples that you can scratch your head at.

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Two Types

Physiological

Physiological optical illusions are the kind that occur after staring at a bright light for a few seconds. The theory is that they result from an over-stimulation of certain neurological pathways in the brain. In other words, if you over-stimulate your vision by staring at a bright light and then close your eyes, you’ll “see” an afterimage of that light.

Cognitive

  • Cognitive optical illusions can be broken down into a few categories:
  • Ambiguous: Cause a change in perception due to multiple interpretations.
  • Distorting: Appear to distort an object’s size, length, curvature, color, etc.
  • Paradox: Images/shapes that could not exist in reality (impossible objects).
  • Fictional: Illusions that literally don’t exist (aka Hallucinations).
slide4

The American Flag?

Stare at the flag for thirty seconds, then quickly look at a blank wall or white piece of paper. What do you see?

This is an example of a physiological optical illusion.

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The Necker Cube

Can you tell which orientation the wire frame cube is?

 OR 

This is an example of an ambiguous cognitive optical illusion.

slide6

Rubin Vase

What is this a picture of?

Faces or vases?This is an example of an ambiguous cognitive optical illusion.

slide7

Café Wall Illusion

Are the horizontal lines straight and parallel, or curved?

This is an example of a distorting cognitive optical illusion.

slide8

Mueller-Lyer Illusion

Which line is the longest? Shortest?

Hint: Get a ruler… check them out.This is an example of a distorting cognitive optical illusion.

slide9

Penrose Triangle

Hey architecture majors, let’s see you make this:

This is an example of a paradox cognitive optical illusion.

slide10

Penrose Stairs

I’d love to see someone try to get to the top.

This is an example of a paradox cognitive optical illusion.

slide11

Who's That?

Focus on the four dots for 45 seconds, then quickly look at a wall and blink.

This is an example of a physiological optical illusion.

slide12

Checker Shadow Illusion

Which square is darker? A or B?

This one blows me away… they’re the same shade!This is an example of a distorting cognitive optical illusion.

slide13

Scintillating Grid Illusion

Can you find the black circles?

Hint: There are no black circles This is an example of a distorting cognitive optical illusion.

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Simultaneous Contrast Illusion

In the middle bar, is the left or right side lighter?

Yet again… blows me away. Try covering up the outer gradient and focus on the middle line.This is an example of a distorting cognitive optical illusion.

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Rotating Circles

Look at the black dot as you move your head backward and foreward.

Do you notice anything rotating?This is an example of a distorting cognitive optical illusion.

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Want More?

The internet is full of websites containing optical illusions. Some even sell books full of them! The examples and definitions that I’ve used can be found at the website listed below. The site also has numerous links to other famous illusions. Enjoy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_illusion

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” –Albert Einstein