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Illusion Chasers

Illusion Chasers

Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday Deceptions
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    We are brain researchers who study the brain using illusions and magic—where reality is misaligned to how we see, think and feel – in addition to well-established neuroscience methods. Twitter: @SMartinezConde & @Stephen_Macknik. Web: Follow on Twitter @illusionchasers.
  • Transcending Our Origins–Violence, Humanity, and the Future


    Attend the ASU Origins Project Great Debate event, Transcending Our Origins–Violence, Humanity, and the Future, either live or by webcast on April 5th.

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    Parallels Between Mantis Shrimp and Human Color Vision

    Mantis shrimp. Photo credit: Roy Caldwell

    Despite tremendous differences in human versus shrimp eye structure and brain circuitry, the striking similarity between the color sensitivities of primate brain color-selective neurons and shrimp photoreceptors provides evidence of a common computational strategy across extremely divergent species.

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    Daniel Suarez’s Influx Is Super Fluxing Bitchin’!


    I loved the book, and couldn’t—wouldn’t—didn’t—set it down. With Influx, Daniel Suarez becomes the master, and Michael Crichton should be honored by the comparison.

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    It’s Love’s Illusions I Recall…

    Title: ‘E-motion’, by Gianni A. Sarcone

    Gianni Sarcone’s illusions are beautiful and evocative of our most cherished emotion.

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    Neuroscientists Discover The Secret Behind Galileo’s Illusion


    Scientists have studied a visual illusion first discovered by Galileo Galilei, and found that it occurs because of the surprising way our eyes see lightness and darkness in the world.

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    Illusion of the Week: Legos and M&M’s Bulge Illusion.

    Image credit: Mary Coffelt, Briena Heller, and Michael McCamy, Martinez-Conde and Macknik Laboratories, Barrow Neurological Institute

    If you’ve ever played with Legos, you know that they’re all about straight lines and 90-degree corners. Not in this version of Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s “Bulge” illusion. The strategically placed purple and white M&Ms distort your perception of the Lego checkerboard, making it bulge out.

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    Fat Tuesday: Hypoglycemia Is Tied To Low Income In Diabetics

    I disagree with this study’s conclusion. It’s not that I don’t believe that low-income is tied to diabetes and hypoglycemia at the end of the pay cycle. I do believe it. But I suspect that these diabetics are eating too much inexpensive high-carbohydrate junk foods at the end of their pay cycle, rather than starving.

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    Mac King

    We are happy to announce the 10th anniversary edition of world’s Best Illusion of the Year Contest. Submissions are now welcome!

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    ‘Tis the season to be flossing: beware of dentistry illusions

    Researchers recommend that dentists and other health practitioners receive training in “illusion awareness” (my words, not theirs), so that they may counteract these and related perceptual effects.

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    Ask Me Anything: The Neuroscience of Magic at PeerJ

    (c) 2013,  Courtesy of NOVA:scienceNow, WGBH

    Tomorrow (Tue 16th Dec at 8 am PST) the journal PeerJ will host a live ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with us, and our collaborator Hector Rieiro (a PhD candidate in the Macknik Lab).

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