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Can’t Believe My Eyes

B. Deer

Did you ever stare at a lightbulb for a long time, look away, and then see a blob of color for the next few seconds? Or see something out of the corner of your eye and then wonder if you really saw it? Look at the black-and-white grid (shown right). Do you see gray dots at each intersection? Are they really there? Move your head all the way to the side of the page and look again — do you still see them? What do the lightbulb story and the grid have in common? They both have to do with illusion.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The word illusion comes from the Latin “illusio,” meaning, “the action of mocking.” TheMerriam-WebsterDictionary defines “illusion” as: the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled; a misleading image presented to the vision; perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature. Illusions occur within all of our five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, feel), but visual illusions are the most common, because vision often dominates the other senses. Scientists have been studying optical illusions for many years and have learned a lot about them. However, there’s much still unknown, and research and tests on the eye and optical illusions continue.

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