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Posts Tagged "illusion"

Illusion Chasers

The Implication of Motion

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To celebrate our new article on implied motion in Scientific American Mind, here’s a terrific movie of a chocolate zoetrope.

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Illusion Chasers

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

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As adults, we don’t often experience radical violations of our expectations, particularly those that concern core principles of object behavior. One important exception is magic — A magic performance turns our reasonable expectations upside down: objects vanish, levitate and metamorphose. What if each of these violations signals a unique learning opportunity not only to the infant brain but to the adult brain as well? It may be that magic performances are so compelling because we are wired to engage our minds and actions in unexpected situations.

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Illusion Chasers

Eyes Wide Shut: Laurie Simmons’s Gaze Illusions

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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. The mix is not apparent at first sight, even as the uncanny gazes follow the exhibit visitors around the gallery.

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Illusion Chasers

Blind Justice: Biasing Moral Choices With Eye Tracking

From Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have set out to demonstrate a causal relationship–not merely a correlation–between gaze duration and moral decision making.

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Illusion Chasers

The Unforeseen Joys of Encapsulating The Present

A treasure trove of the mundane  -- Image from Wikimedia Commons

A recent study shows that underestimating the value of current experiences leads people to make time-inconsistent choices. We fail to document the present, only to wish we had done it, in the future. At the core of this contradiction is the illusion of self-immutability. We are notoriously bad at predicting how we will feel in the future, and we make the mistake of using our current mental state as a heuristic to make projections about our future feelings. Fundamentally, we do not believe that our future selves will be any different from our current selves, despite our whole life histories screaming to the contrary.

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Illusion Chasers

Call for Illusion Submissions: The World’s 11th Annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest

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We are happy to announce the 11th edition of world’s Best Illusion of the Year Contest!! Submissions are now welcome!

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Illusion Chasers

Why Julianne Moore and Taylor Swift See That Dress Differently

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I don’t think that the reason people see the dress differently from each other is an interesting brain process. Rather, it is a mundane differences in how people have viewed the image on their electronic display screens (phones, tablets, laptops, etc). So now we know that Taylor Swift and Ellen Degeneres set their phone screens to different brightness levels than Justin Bieber and Julianne Moore. You’re welcome.

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Illusion Chasers

Why Romantic Illusions Are a Good Thing

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Scientists believe that idealizing one’s partner can work as a self-fulfilling prophecy, where illusion eventually becomes reality. That is to say, people can help to create the partners they wish they had, by exaggerating their virtues and minimizing their faults in their own minds. In such cases, love is not blind but prophetic.

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Illusion Chasers

Obsession at the Rubin Museum

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The brain region underlying motivation and pleasure are directly interconnected in a loop that we neurophysiologists refer to as a circuit. Whereas activation of this circuit can feel good in normal function, certain drugs, or diseases (like obsessive compulsive disorder; OCD) leave you wanting for more. Much much more.

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Illusion Chasers

The Neuroscience of Lucid Dreams

Dreaming of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. (Wikimedia Commons)

Lucid dreams are perhaps the most bizarre perceptual experience one can have. You are asleep and dreaming, but suddenly you realize that it’s all just a dream. At that point, you can choose to wake up or you can continue to dream on, with one important advantage. You’re now aware that the world around you is completely made up by your brain.

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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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