Optical Illusions

The organizational mechanisms of vision are best demonstrated by illusions. Illusions illustrate that perception is a creative construction that the brain makes in interpreting visual data ....Learning does not prevent us from being taken in by these illusions.

 —  Eric Kandel

We do not see the world as it really is. What we perceive is a creative construction of the mind. Each of us generates subjective reality. The same provocation that elicits intense anger may seem laughable in retrospect. Learning does not spare us from over-reacting to similar provocations the next time. Each of us is vulnerable to the illusions that emerge from the tacit premise that our perceptions are accurate and complete representations of the objective world. After all, seeing is believing.

The images below - while limited to the visual modality - illustrate that perception is an active construction of the mind rather than a valid representation of objective reality.

Escher "figure-ground" illusion

Escher Figure image

Celestial Bodies

Art by: Octavio Ocampo

art illusions

Can you find nine figures embedded in the image?

9 figures

Embedded Dali

Dali

There seems to be a white triangle in the center.

white triangle

Absents of the Mermaid

Art by: Octavio Ocampo absents of mermaid

Our Bread

Art by: Octavio Ocampo
our bread

art illusion

Impossible perspectives

perspectives

perspective 2

Young girl ⁄ Old woman Illusion

young girl old woman

shades of gray

Phantom Dots Illusion

phantom dots illusion

Identical Table Tops

table tops

Chalk Drawing

chalk drawing

Phantom Expansion

expansion image

Impossible Figures

image of blocks
picture of nut

columns

tri two

Necker cubes

two cubes

How fast can you switch?

whichway blocks
eyetest

M. C. Escher: Day and Night

escher image

The red boxes are identical

shades of red

Man or woman

pipe image
vase or face

Phantom Movement

phantom movement

The diagonal lines are straight

squares

Figures & Backgrounds

illusions

image

The figures are identical

image

Stare at the image for 30 seconds then look at a background.

image of Jesus

M. C. Escher: Waterfall

waterfall image

The organizational mechanisms of vision are best demonstrated by illusions. Illusions illustrate that perception is a creative construction that the brain makes in interpreting visual data ....Learning does not prevent us from being taken in
by these illusions.

- Eric Kandel

 

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