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Posts Tagged "illusion"

Illusion Chasers

How Brains Know Where Things Are—Making Space by Jennifer Groh

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Groh launches her book with a BIG FAT LIE: she tells us that nine-tenths of our brain power is spent determining where things are. Then she immediately admits that she just made that up, but that she’d dedicate the rest of the book to explaining why she thinks its true. I was hooked! Brilliant, tantalizing, probably correct, but maybe not! I knew right then I would read this book cover-to-cover.

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Illusion Chasers

The Power of Cute

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Scientists conclude that cute things not only make us happier, but they also improve our performance in tasks that require behavioral carefulness

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Illusion Chasers

Your Brain on Thanks

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It may not have the cache of winter holidays or the Cash! Yay! of a birthday, but it is the best feel-good holiday of the year. At least it feels that way to me. But why is that? Of all the wonderful annual holidays, why would I prefer a single meal, shared with family, loved ones, and friends? Many of these holidays include similar meals. What makes Thanksgiving different for my brain?

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Illusion Chasers

Art and Science Team Up To Steal Your Attention With Magic

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Artist Ellen Levy teamed up with neuroscientist Michael E. Goldberg, Director of the Mahoney Center for Brain and Behavior at Columbia University in New York, to apply the concept of change blindness to an interactive art installation. The resulting animation, “Stealing Attention”, was recently shown at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City, as part of the “Sleuthing the Mind” exhibit that Levy curated.

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Illusion Chasers

The Society for Neuroscience has just announced the 2014 Science Education and Outreach Awards…

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Illusion Chaser Susana Martinez-Conde is the 2014 winner of the prestigious Science Educator Award from the Society for Neuroscience!

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Illusion Chasers

The Art of the Brick

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There is an intersection of art, science and engineering in the works of Lego artist Nathan Sawaya, whose “Art of the Brick” traveling show I visited last weekend at the Discovery Times Square Museum in New York (the exhibition closed Sunday).

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Illusion Chasers

Neuroscience in fiction: “Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs”, by Adam-Troy Castro

Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Eclipse#mediaviewer/File:Eclipse667.jpg

The people of Enysbourg lead merry, fulfilled, blissful lives – nine days out of every ten. On each Tenth Day, the country is ablaze with destruction. Cities are razed, children massacred, every single citizen and visitor to the country experiences unimaginable pain and suffering. But the Day After, peace is restored. All wounds, physical and psychological, are healed. Buildings and roads show no fractures. Families become whole again. Lovers reunite. Memories of the devastation remain, but they do not have the power to do harm.

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Illusion Chasers

Do Dogs Fall for Magic Tricks?

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Animals can be deceived, but do animals feel wonderment, awe, or sense that they have experienced the impossible?

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Illusion Chasers

Illusion of the Week: OK Go’s New Illusion Video

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Music videos by the alternative rock band OK Go are nothing if not creative. Their previous video “Here It Goes Again” featuring treadmill dancing was mesmerizing, and their newest video, “The Writing’s on the Wall”, is even more compelling, especially for those of us interested in matters of perception.

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Illusion Chasers

Dali masterpieces were inspired by Scientific American

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Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali was a reader of Scientific American, and created one of his most iconic pieces based on a Scientific American article on face perception.

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Observations

In Bowerbird Romance, Master Illusionists Get the Girls [VIDEO]

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Male bowerbirds are virtuoso architects. To woo females they construct an intricate structure (a bower) from twigs that they meticulously decorate with a variety of found objects. The result is the ultimate avian bachelor pad. Biologists have long marveled at the male bowerbirds’ elaborate courtship scheme. Now new findings add to a growing body of [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Happy 8/8! Can You Spot These 8 Hiding Octopuses?

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We must wait patiently two more months until the official International Octopus Day. But August 8th (8/8) is reason enough to celebrate these awesome, eight-armed creatures. But octopuses are the shy retiring type. With darn amazing camouflage. Even experienced underwater divers and scientists often have a difficult time spotting them (I sure did when I [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Watch the Incredible Shrinking Woman [Video]

“Big” me. “Little” me. Watch these two versions of me–which are really the same size–explain why I appear petite in one place on screen and large in another. The reason, in short, is that I have been trapped in a clever visual illusion, one invented 78 years ago by American opthalmologist Adelbert Ames Jr. In [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

An Artist Reveals How He Tricks the Eyes

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A few years ago, James Gurney, a celebrated artist and author, stood before his easel to paint a deli in Poughkeepsie. Surveying the scene before him, he was immediately overwhelmed with literally millions of details. People strolled by. Insects fluttered overhead. Signs poked out from the store and up from the street. Every tree had [...]

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