Illusion Chasers

Illusion Chasers

Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday Deceptions

  • Illusions in the Formerly Blind

    Illusions in the Formerly Blind

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | May 24, 2015 |

    Are illusions (the phenomena where subjective perception differs from objective reality) the exception or the rule in everyday vision? Do they represent visual processing errors or provide us with an evolutionary advantage? Are such misperceptions innate or something we learn? […]

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  • The Current Biology of the Dress

    The Current Biology of the Dress

    By Stephen L. Macknik | May 16, 2015 |

    In February the internet split humanity in two… with a dress. People fought to the death to defend their perception of the dress as either blue/black or white/gold (I just made that up… but it was  almost  that remarkable!). But seriously, people felt strongly about how clear their perception was on this point, and what actually is remarkable was that so many people felt so very differently. […]

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  • The Best Illusions of 2014

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | May 7, 2015 |

    The Top Ten Finalists competing in the 2015 Best Illusion of the Year Contest will be announced very soon! In the meantime, whet your appetite with the neuroscience and perception principles behind the Top Ten Finalist and Winning Illusions from last year ! […]

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  • Star Wars Day: May the Fourth Be with You

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | May 2, 2015 |

    Ed. Note: Content from this post originally appeared in the Sleights of Mind website. As the world prepares to celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4th, it seems fitting to feature a Star Wars illusion this week. After very careful consideration, it is clear we must go with then-16-year-old Paul Vermeesch ‘s 2012 Legos diorama. […]

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  • The Neuroscience of Slydini's Paper Balls-to-Hat Magic Trick

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | April 27, 2015 |

    The magician's hand partially occludes (left) either two long ropes (middle) or one long rope and one short rope (right). Spectators tend to prefer the two-long-ropes interpretation, which is statistically more likely in normal circumstances. Ambiguous images–like where people see either a vase or two faces in the same picture–show that information arriving to our visual system is not clear-cut, and can be interpreted in many ways. […]

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  • The Implication of Motion

    The Implication of Motion

    By Stephen L. Macknik | April 18, 2015 |

    Last week a new Scientific American Mind issue was released, and with it, our column Illusions showcased an amazing type of visual illusion called “implied motion”. This is where you perceive that motion is happening due to the cognitive content of an image, despite the fact that nothing is actually moving. […]

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  • Why Babies (and Perhaps All of Us) Care About Magic

    Why Babies (and Perhaps All of Us) Care About Magic

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | April 10, 2015 |

    We base our everyday behavior on thousands of predictions about how reality will unfold around us as we interact with our physical and social environment. Some of our expectations are the product of hard-won experience and direct interaction with the world. […]

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  • Eyes Wide Shut: Laurie Simmons's Gaze Illusions

    Eyes Wide Shut: Laurie Simmons's Gaze Illusions

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | March 31, 2015 |

    The latest project of photographer Laurie Simmons , who has previously portrayed life-like dolls in everyday poses, features live subjects with doll gazes . The models are photographed with their eyes closed, but look all-seeing: their eyelid makeup consists of hyper realistic doll-eye depictions. […]

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  • Blind Justice: Biasing Moral Choices With Eye Tracking

    Blind Justice: Biasing Moral Choices With Eye Tracking

    By Susana Martinez-Conde | March 22, 2015 |

    From Wikimedia Commons Starting in the 16 th century, statues and paintings depicting the Roman goddess of justice, Iustitia , have often portrayed her wearing a blindfold. Lady Justice’s blindness is meant to indicate objectivity and impartiality in judgement, even in the face of outer appearance. […]

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  • Brain Awareness Week in NYC

    Brain Awareness Week in NYC

    By Stephen L. Macknik | March 15, 2015 |

    This week is Brain Awareness Week 2015! A number of great events are taking place around the world to promote public education of the brain and to support research in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Here in New York City there are dozens of events, and I've listed a few of the major university events below. […]

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