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The brain and illusions
What can illusions teach us about the brain?
Curated by Gerald Carey
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The Illusion Machine That Teaches Us How We See - Issue 19: Illusions - Nautilus

The Illusion Machine That Teaches Us How We See - Issue 19: Illusions - Nautilus | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The man sprang onstage dressed as a miner, complete with headlamp and pickaxe. After swinging the axe a few times, he proclaimed to…
Gerald Carey's insight:

Fantastic set of videos, photos and animated gif showing some new illusions (and some old ones) from Kokichi Sugihara.

It includes a nice explanation of what is happening in our brains, particularly our love of right angles.

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Fooled By Your Own Brain - Issue 2: Uncertainty - Nautilus

Fooled By Your Own Brain - Issue 2: Uncertainty - Nautilus | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Your powers of attention: fooled!Attention is, by definition, limited. And that’s usually a good thing. If you’re searching for…
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Perfect example in the picture above...

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2014 Finalists | Best Illusion of the Year Contest

2014 Finalists | Best Illusion of the Year Contest | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
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The best illusions from 2014.  Includes explanations and a number of video illustrations.

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The Illusion That Makes It Sound Like a Pitch Is Constantly Rising

The Illusion That Makes It Sound Like a Pitch Is Constantly Rising | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Discovered by the same people who brought you the modern computer
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I do like the picture above but this article is about aural illusions including the shepherd scale.  It includes some nice videos and explanations of the phenomena.

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Giant Optical Illusions That Transform Buildings and Cities

No, this building isn't being ripped open with giant actuators. It's an architectural optical illusion, created by artists using projectors. Here are some of the most astonishing examples of this city-scale art form, from around the world.
Gerald Carey's insight:

A great list of building-face illusions.  Hopefully this one (above) works!

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Seeing With Your Brain | National Geographic Channel

Seeing With Your Brain | National Geographic Channel | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
A now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t experiment demonstrates how the brain plays tricks.
Gerald Carey's insight:

Nice demonstration of how the brain focussing on one point can make other features/images disappear.

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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.
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An explanation of how the cup and ball trick works.

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Impossible 2D Drawings Made Possible... In 3D

Impossible 2D Drawings Made Possible... In 3D | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

We've all seen drawings of impossible objects like M.C. Escher's Penrose stairs and ascending and descending walkway. However, after seeing the optical illusions of mathematics researcher and professor Kokichi Sugihara, we hesitate to use the wordimpossible so lightly.

Gerald Carey's insight:

A few nice videos of 3D objects doing 'impossible' things.

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Incredible Moving Optical Illusions By Brusspop

Incredible Moving Optical Illusions By Brusspop | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
A great magician never reveals his secrets. But a great optical illusionist shares the tricks of the trade so generously...
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5 amazing phone illusions that will blow your mind

5 amazing phone illusions that will blow your mind | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
We’re happy to see that over the years, real magicians have started to use smartphones to create and enhance a variety of mind-blowing illusions.
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The Secrets Behind Harry Houdini’s Ten Greatest Illusions

The Secrets Behind Harry Houdini’s Ten Greatest Illusions | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

AltThere is an unwritten rule among magicians never to reveal how a trick is done. So when a 2004 exhibition explained Harry Houdini's illusions, magicians around the world were apoplectic. David Copperfield called it a breach of magic protocol, and performers declared that they would boycott the exhibition. Many claimed to still use Houdini's tricks themselves.

Gerald Carey's insight:

Although this article reveals a lot of the secrets of Houdini and somehow it doesn't feel right, nevertheless it is wonderful collection of his tricks and includes plenty of background text and even some videos of the events.

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11 mind-bending optical illusions you probably shouldn't look at if you're hungover

11 mind-bending optical illusions you probably shouldn't look at if you're hungover | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Optical illusions are confusing at the best of times, but if you're still feeling a bit ropey after a big night these tricks might make you lose your mind...or your lunch
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A collection of old illusions in the form of videos and lots of clichés in the descriptions.

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Chills and thrills: why some people love music – and others don't

Chills and thrills: why some people love music – and others don't | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Think of your favourite piece of music. Do you get shivers when the music swells or the chorus kicks in? Or are the opening few bars enough to make you feel tingly? Despite having no obvious survival value…
Gerald Carey's insight:

A very interesting article about a group of people that actually don't enjoy music - they don't feel the same sensations about music as most other people.  The author calls them 'music anhedonics'.

I include this article not so much because of this but because of the number of videos included which are designed to evoke particular emotions in people.

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Zebras May 'Dazzle' Predators and Insects With Two Optical Illusions At Once

Zebras May 'Dazzle' Predators and Insects With Two Optical Illusions At Once | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Zebras may be employing the barber-pole illusion and the wagon-wheel effect simultaneously, as part of their "motion camouflage" arsenal.
Gerald Carey's insight:

Not new but includes a good explanation and two other videos.

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Visual processing: how the brain keeps up with reality - Science Omega

Visual processing: how the brain keeps up with reality - Science Omega | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
UC Berkeley researchers have pinpointed the region of the brain responsible for tracking and predicting the position of fast-moving objects
Gerald Carey's insight:

Not sure about the point of this article but there are two good videos attached to it showing what is called 'flash-drag' illusions.

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Design › Illusion

Design › Illusion | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The Most Amazing Creations in Art, Design, Photography, and Video
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Nice collection of design illusions.

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A Failed Visual Illusion Experiment but Can We Learn Anything From It?

A Failed Visual Illusion Experiment but Can We Learn Anything From It? | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
I was just experimenting in making visual illusions but my first efforts failed. I was looking at this cognitive science website set up by Dutch PhD student Sebastiaan Mathôt when I came across the...
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Three videos of some pretty amazing illusions | AEIdeas

Three videos of some pretty amazing illusions | AEIdeas | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

These have been available before but let's just have another look - GC

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Metamorphosis- Art That Transforms Before Your Eyes

Metamorphosis- Art That Transforms Before Your Eyes | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
We've all seen the famous Young Girl-Old Woman illusion, but Swiss artist Markus Raetz has taken perceptive illusions into the third dimension.
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