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The brain and illusions
What can illusions teach us about the brain?
Curated by Gerald Carey
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This illusion shows that you can't keep track of where your hands go

This illusion shows that you can't keep track of where your hands go | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
If you have recently put your hand in something disgusting, take comfort. You haven't been slimed as thoroughly as you had previously assumed. Your brain is making things worse (and longer) than they truly are.
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It would be interesting to do find some in-class exercises we could do to illustrate this idea.

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Illusions That Let Your Hands Lie to Your Brain

Illusions That Let Your Hands Lie to Your Brain | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
One of the things your brain excels at is changing itself around to fit new circumstances. People can cut bits out of it, sometimes extending to half of your entire brain, and the mind adapts.
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The cutaneous rabbit illusion hops out of the body : Neurophilosophy

The cutaneous rabbit illusion hops out of the body : Neurophilosophy | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
IF a rapid series of taps are applied first to your wrist and then to your elbow, you will experience a perceptual illusion, in which phantom sensations are felt along the skin connecting the two points that were actually touched....
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Catalyst: Out of body experiences - ABC TV Science

Catalyst: Out of body experiences - ABC TV Science | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

A surprisingly large number of people report having had an Out of Body Experience A common story is they find their awareness floating up near the ceiling Dr Graham Philips met up with scientists in in Switzerland who’ve been examining the phenomenon (includes video).

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Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion : Nature News & Comment

Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion : Nature News & Comment | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
It is not every day that you are separated from your body and then stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife.

But such experiences are routine in the lab of Henrik Ehrsson, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who uses illusions to probe, stretch and displace people's sense of self. Today, using little more than a video camera, goggles and two sticks, he has convinced me that I am floating a few metres behind my own body. As I see a knife plunging towards my virtual chest, I flinch. Two electrodes on my fingers record the sweat that automatically erupts on my skin, and a nearby laptop plots my spiking fear on a graph.

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Illusion can halve the pain of osteoarthritis, scientists say

Illusion can halve the pain of osteoarthritis, scientists say | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
A serendipitous discovery by academics has shown that a simple illusion can significantly reduce -- and in some cases even temporarily eradicate -- arthritic pain in the hand.
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Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre-Research-Haptic perception

Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre-Research-Haptic perception | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Touch and related capabilities are commonly underrated. Yet, these capabilities are essential for normal human functioning, as demonstrated by the catastrophic consequences that follow after losing them (Robles-De-La-Torre 2006). Also, we perhaps tend to think that touch is somehow more veridical than the other senses. Perhaps this is because we know that there are many visual illusions, but we rarely hear about touch illusions.

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Personal Illusions

Personal Illusions | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Here are some illusions that you can perform and experience with "nothing up your sleeve but dirty elbows," as the magician says. No props are needed, and you can amaze yourself or your friends right now. Follow the simple directions for each of the examples below.

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At-Bristol | A great day out in Bristol for all the family | Bringing science to life!

Try this series of illusions all based on touch.

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Tactile illusions: Seven ways to fool your sense of touch - New Scientist

Tactile illusions: Seven ways to fool your sense of touch - New Scientist | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

It's surprisingly easy for your body to fool your brain. Graham Lawton puts his sense of touch to the test.

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MIT Invents A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through And Touch

The Tangible Media Group at MIT's Media Lab has unveiled a futuristic display made of atoms not pixels.
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Man, this is getting weird..

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Nature News Blog: Disappearing hand trick wins best illusion of 2012 : Nature News Blog

Nature News Blog: Disappearing hand trick wins best illusion of 2012 : Nature News Blog | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Watch where you put your hands, because Roger Newport of the University of Nottingham knows how to fool a brain into thinking they have vanished.
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Mirror therapy for pain?

Mirror therapy for pain? | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Dateline: 15 November 2011 // Posted by: Kaitlin Hanley
Source: Los Angeles Times; Huffington Post; Daily Mail; The Guardian

Story: "Optical illusion dampens arthritis pain"

Summary: A new study reported at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual conference suggests that mirror therapy, often used as treatment for those who have had an amputation, can also be effective in treating arthritis. The study was conducted by the lab of V.S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist whose lab is located at UC San Diego in California. The findings were presented by neuroscientist Laura Case in Washington

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Scientists Induce Out-of-Body Sensation - New York Times

Scientists Induce Out-of-Body Sensation - New York Times | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Scientists used virtual reality goggles, a camera and a stick to induce the sensation, a journal reports.
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David's Mirror: Illusions and Pain Perception | Nationally Acclaimed Politics, Science and Culture Coverage - Miller-McCune

David's Mirror: Illusions and Pain Perception | Nationally Acclaimed Politics, Science and Culture Coverage - Miller-McCune | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

A mirror and massage curtail pain in a case where strong and dangerous pain drugs had failed.

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Using Plausible Illusions To Reduce Phantom Pain

Patients who undergo amputations commonly experience phantom pain, a common side effect. Unfortunately, treatments for this conditions have not been very effective.
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Body illusions: Rubber hand illusion - 18 March 2009 - New Scientist

Body illusions: Rubber hand illusion - 18 March 2009 - New Scientist | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

About 10 years ago, psychologists discovered that they could convince people that a rubber hand was their own...(includes video)

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Curved surface illusion › Tricks (ABC Science)

Curved surface illusion › Tricks (ABC Science) | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Tricking the mind can often be more than meets the eye. Using nothing more than a ball or a bowl, you too will be able to discover your myterious sixth sense.

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Illusions of Touch: Some things to try on your valentine... : Developing Intelligence

Illusions of Touch: Some things to try on your valentine... : Developing Intelligence | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Well, it's not quite as erotic as it sounds, but they could break the ice on more than a few Valentine's dates. Hayward's new article in Brain Research Bulletin describes all known tactile illusions. Some can be tried easily at...
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Illusions —- Tactile – Optical – Auditory – Olfactory – Taste

Illusions —- Tactile – Optical – Auditory – Olfactory – Taste | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The term illusion refers to a specific form of sensory distortion. Unlike a hallucination, which is a distortion in the absence of a stimulus, an illusion describes a misinterpretation of a true se...
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