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The brain and illusions
What can illusions teach us about the brain?
Curated by Gerald Carey
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Ceci n'est pas une spirale

Ceci n'est pas une spirale | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
That's right, this is not a spiral.  If you check this illusion (from Sean Michael Ragan at Make) with your finger or mouse, you'll find that it's a series of concentric circles. Also, if you move ...
Gerald Carey's insight:

Interesting take down of the above 'spiral'.

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Are you a poor logician? Logically, you might never know

Are you a poor logician? Logically, you might never know | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
This is the second article in a series, How we make decisions, which explores our decision-making processes. How well do we consider all factors involved in a decision, and what helps and what holds us…
Gerald Carey's insight:

A nice summary of our current understanding of illusions such as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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Neuroscience: why do we see faces in everyday objects?

Neuroscience: why do we see faces in everyday objects? | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

 excellFrom Virgin Mary in a slice of toast to the appearance of a screaming face in a man’s testicles, David Robson explains why the brain constructs these illusions

Gerald Carey's insight:

An excellent article about the phenomenon of pareidolia.

There are a number of really good images which show it clearly and it reviews some experiments designed to see what happens in the brain when exposed to examples of this.

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Brainwave: Illusion (Apollo Robbins + Marisa Carrasco) - YouTube

Gerald Carey's insight:

A magician and a psychologist explain why our visual system is fooled by the work of illusionists.

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7 Insane Optical Illusions That Will Boggle Your Mind. I Can’t Trust My Eyes Anymore… » Fascinating Pics

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Some repeats of previous illusions mostly in the form of animated gifs.

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7 Ways to Identify Pseudoscience

7 Ways to Identify Pseudoscience | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

A How can you tell if a something qualifies as science or if it falls into the realm of pseudoscience? It's not always easy.  Clever marketers have found ways to pass off shady work as legitimate, often disguising a bogus product or claim with scientific jargon. Rodney Schmaltz and Scott O. Lilienfeld, authors of Hauntings, homeopathy, and the…

Gerald Carey's insight:

A reasonable list of statements that are the signs of pseudoscience..

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Seeing 'Jesus in toast' phenomenon perfectly normal, professor says

Seeing 'Jesus in toast' phenomenon perfectly normal, professor says | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Researchers have found that the phenomenon of “face pareidolia” -- where onlookers report seeing images of Jesus, Virgin Mary, or Elvis in objects such as toasts, shrouds, and clouds -- is normal and based on physical causes.
Gerald Carey's insight:

I think the researcher may have missed the point here. 

Seeing identifiable patterns in clouds, or in tree bark or on toast is perfectly normal. It is assuming that the patterns have any significance that is the problem.  Some people have seen images of holy people and assume that this gives the object some sort of magical powers. That's when those people become open to ridicule.

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The Rotating Snakes Are All In Your Mind

The Rotating Snakes Are All In Your Mind | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Illusions aren't just for fun; they also help reveal how human vision works. Commentator Tania Lombrozo turns to an expert for an explanation of why we perceive motion where none exists.
Gerald Carey's insight:

Very detailed explanation of the Rotating Snake illusion. Not only explaining how it works but also what it tells us about how the brain creates this type of illusion.

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How Thinking About Others Improves Our Creativity

How Thinking About Others Improves Our Creativity | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Research suggests we're more creative when we're others-focused.
Gerald Carey's insight:

Why would just thinking about the presence of another person, improve creativity? It's all to do with empathy...but, read on!

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect - YouTube

I will, of course, cover the Donkey Kong effect in a future review. Next episode...REVIEW #100! http://handfulofminutes.com/ http://igotopinions.com/ https:/...
Gerald Carey's insight:

A humorous attempt to explain this effect. Warning: some language and political bias.

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Moving Illusions

Moving Illusions | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The newest Mind Blow on Vsauce2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkAIR5p9Ni8 LINKS AND SOURCES BELOW: FOLLOW: http://www.twitter.com/tweetsauce music by http...
Gerald Carey's insight:

A really nice summary of how illusions work and how they have been used over time.

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This blinding optical illusion uses motion to rob you of your sight

This blinding optical illusion uses motion to rob you of your sight | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
You're about to experience a phenomenon known as motion-induced blindness, a quirk of the human visual system that makes us fall for some seriously strange optical illusions.
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Why scientists say simple cup-and-ball is the best magic trick of all

Why scientists say simple cup-and-ball is the best magic trick of all | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Scientists analysing how magicians Penn & Teller perform one of the oldest known illusions now reveal some aspects are more effective at manipulating audiences than the magicians predicted.
Gerald Carey's insight:

An explanation of how the cup and ball trick works.

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Placebo Buttons

Placebo Buttons | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The Misconception: All buttons placed around you do your bidding. The Truth: Many public buttons are only there to comfort you. You press the doorbell button, you hear the doorbell ring. You press ...
Gerald Carey's insight:

The author recounts the reasons why elevator door close button, pedestrian crossing and thermostat buttons are almost all fake.

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BrainBashers : Optical Illusions

BrainBashers : Optical Illusions | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Optical illusions and other visual oddities.
Gerald Carey's insight:

From the website:

"When read from close-up the image reads 'Close', but as you move further away more text is revealed."

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How Our Delusions Keep Us Sane: The Psychology of Our Essential Self-Enhancement Bias

How Our Delusions Keep Us Sane: The Psychology of Our Essential Self-Enhancement Bias | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
How evolution made the average person believe she is better in every imaginable way than the average person.

"Optimism is the faith that
Gerald Carey's insight:

Excellent summary of a range of disillusion and biases that keep us sane and human.

They include; self-enhancement bias, illusory superiority, optimism bias and one of my favourites, confirmation bias.

This is a long article but well worth the read.

Brain pickings is also worth following for the occasional article on psychology.

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Why your children don't listen to you

Why your children don't listen to you | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

It is an experience as familiar as it is frustrating to many parents and teachers - getting children to pay attention to simple instructions while they are engrossed in watching television, playing a game or reading a book.

Gerald Carey's insight:

Good summary of our understanding of inattention blindness.

Prof. Wiseman adds some explanation for why it occurs.

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The Power of Perception: Why You Can't Unsee These Images

The Power of Perception: Why You Can't Unsee These Images | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
We're going to rewire your brain. Are you ready?
Gerald Carey's insight:

The image above is an example of the content of this excellent article on 'unseeing' images once the details have been explained to you. It's much like aural pareidolia - you don't hear the pattern until someone points it out to you and then you can't "unhear" it!

This is a great article about this concept with some new images (and plenty of old ones) clearly showing this concept.

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How Your Name Influences How Believable You Are — PsyBlog

How Your Name Influences How Believable You Are — PsyBlog | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
What’s in a name?
Gerald Carey's insight:

Hard to believe this article. How can your credibility be dependent, in part, on the complexity of your name?

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Wizard of Odds or Even Steven? The science of gambling fallacies

Wizard of Odds or Even Steven? The science of gambling fallacies | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Imagine yourself, a picture of sartorial elegance and sipping champagne from a crystal flute, in Le Grande Casino at Monte Carlo. It is a Monday night – in fact, the date is August 18, 1913 – and you are…
Gerald Carey's insight:

An examination of the 'gambler's fallacy' and the part of the brain that MIGHT be associated with it (the insula).

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Use the ventriloquism effect to find out if that dummy is possessed

Use the ventriloquism effect to find out if that dummy is possessed | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The ventriloquism effect is what makes us think the ventriloquist's dummy is talking, even though our ears should be able to hear that they aren't. We can train ourselves out of it using a simple trick (but then we'd have to find out which dummies really are talking).
Gerald Carey's insight:

The ventriloquist's dummy effect explained.

Although, read the article with a fair amount of scepticism given the source...

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Phantom Melodies Yield Real Clues to Brain’s Workings

Phantom Melodies Yield Real Clues to Brain’s Workings | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Studying the brain of a woman who hallucinates piano melodies may help researchers understand how the mind make sense of the world.
Gerald Carey's insight:

This is something I haven't heard off - music hallucinations. The music is quite vivid but heard in the head of the sufferer.  It can be damped down whilst listening to other music. This is the basis of this study.

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CogFit-Quest's curator insight, February 20, 7:48 PM

Fascinating!

Sandy Williams Spencer's curator insight, February 20, 10:46 PM

A fascinating article for sure!

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The Nocebo Effect

The Nocebo Effect | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
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Further information on the Nocebo effect - the less positive sibling to the placebo effect.

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Perception and Perceptual Illusions

Perception and Perceptual Illusions | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Perception occurs when sensory signals are matched to perceptual templates.
Gerald Carey's insight:

Well, this is a very nice article with some decent explanations about how illusions work.  Not for people that don't read!

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The limbic system, the cognitive mind and the user illusion that misleads

User illusion - no, it's not that Guns N' Roses album - is what fools us into thinking we know why we make the decisions we make.
Gerald Carey's insight:

In order that we might understand why humans make the decisions they do, we need to understand the important influence of the limbic system.

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