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Let’s do the optical twist

And you thought the only person you could trust was yourself. Well, we have bad news for you. Your eyes are not on board. Given the opportunity, proper depth, colour and lighting, amongst other things, they’ll play tricks on you without remorse. Welcome to the land of optical illusions where nothing is as it seems. Where perception and reality have two different stories to tell. Check this illusion out.

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It’s just a white grid on a black background. But move your eyes around a bit and you will see black dots appear and disappear at the intersections. Try and focus on one intersection and the friggin dot stays white. Till date they haven’t figured out an explanation for the illusion. Perhaps it’s because the eyes and the brain aren’t always on talking terms? Seems legit.

Then there’s the silhouette illusion.

Wikimedia Commons

Now, here’ s the big question. What the hell is going on? Well, it all starts out when we were kids. Everything we see around us gets programmed in our heads as part of human development and in a sense, we’ve hardwired our perceptions. And interpretation of images happens automatically or subconsciously. Optical illusions on the hand challenge this preset logic we’ve stored in our brains. And the mind struggles to process the images presented through the illusion as it contradicts the logic stored in our minds. In other words, we see things contradicting what we know and our brains go ‘WTF just happened here’? This one is just nuts. It’s like you’ve popped acid or something.

 

 

Another reason as to why we see what we see is because we’re slow creatures. When light hits our retina, it takes 1/10 th of a second to process it. That’s not too quick. So to make up for that neural delay our brains generate image of what it ‘thinks’ the world will look like. And that’s not always accurate. Way to go brain. So by playing with colour, depth, size, light etc, you can confuse the hell out of a brain.

Think About It

Can your perception of an image differ simply because you’ve been conditioned or primed differently. With the advancement of technology how far can we take optical illusions? When can you trust your eyes and brain to tell you the difference between reality and illusion? The next time you say “I know what I saw” – remember how deceptive your brain can be. Oh, and check out this T-rex with a staring problem. It will blow your mind.

Learn More

Optical illusions show how we see | Optical illusions app | 10 greatest illusions

About the Author

Jonathan Dias freelances for magazines and papers like Maxim and the Herald, writing about women, food and gadgets. He is also attempting to write a cook book that involves a lot of bacon and beer.

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