What these optical illusions say about us

Optical Illusion of Motion- Green Octagons on Blue background

VISUAL illusions show us that we do not have direct access to reality. They can also provide an inkling of the mental processing that delivers our experience of the viewable world.

Indeed, it is the processing happening inside our brains that is the basis for many illusions. Rather than delivering information from our eyes in nearly raw form as a camera would, the brain tries to determine what is actually out there — what are the shapes and the objects in the scene?

When the information entering the eye is ambiguous, the brain must make educated guesses. The three displays below demonstrate this in rather delightful ways.

The Illusion of Sex

Jarrod Sierocki

The Illusion of Sex. Picture: Richard RussellSource:Supplied

In this illusion by Richard Russell, the same face appears to be female when the skin tone is made lighter (left image) and male when the skin tone is made darker (right image).

The illusion works because changing the skin tone a…

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