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Watch the Incredible Shrinking Woman [Video]

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“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 the HBO movie “Temple Grandin,” the main character (Grandin) recreates the same illusion for a class assignment. Watch the scene here. The video below deconstructs the trick that Ames and Grandin play on our eyes.

For more about perceptions that do not match reality, see the story “Re-creating the Real World” by Bruce Hood in the September/October 2012 Scientific American Mind.


Ingrid Wickelgren About the Author: Ingrid Wickelgren is an editor at Scientific American Mind, but this is her personal blog at which, at random intervals, she shares the latest reports, hearsay and speculation on the mind, brain and behavior. Follow on Twitter @iwickelgren.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. rock johny 4:01 pm 10/11/2012

    riiiiiiiiight…but why do her freckles look the same size in both?

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  2. 2. Freebandz 4:01 pm 10/11/2012

    Some facts about this article are that the windows changes also they make sure they close inside the box so u can’t see the shape and they also they make patterns on the floor like a checker board. When she started to explain how one side of the room you look big and one side you look small i understand it. I want to know Why do they have to use the checker boarded for the room.

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