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optical illusions

  1. TED-Ed Explains How Optical Illusions Work With Animation, the Best Optical Illusion

    Optical illusions: how do they work?

    Your brain is very smart and very efficient, but that sometimes makes it do dumb things, which is basically how optical illusions work. For a better explanation, watch this TED-Ed animation that details why and how your brain makes the assumptions that make optical illusions work.

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  2. This Video Uses Sound Waves to Bend Water and Our Brains

    No CGI here, folks. Just science.

    This video from Youtuber Brusspup is fascinating. It uses sound waves and a camera to make it appear that water is impossibly bending and reshaping itself. See for yourself. What's particularly interesting is that the effect only works through the camera.

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  3. Can You Really Trust What Your Eyes are Telling You, Man? [Video]

    In a related story: Look at my hand, guys. Doesn't my hand look weird?

    Our brains judge color and lighting in context with one another in order to perceive the world around us, and sometimes that doesn't work out so well. That's where those awesome optical illusions come from -- you know, the ones that make you think two colors are completely different when it's actually the same color. But how does that work? AsapSCIENCE has the scoop.

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  4. Don’t Believe In Ghosts? Scientists Are Working on Making Their Own

    Despite the popularity of paranormal phenomena -- in the movies, on reality TV, or in real life research teams -- there remains no solid proof of the unseen. Namely, ghosts. Most visual reports of ghost sightings are dismissed as optical illusions, a trick of the light, or the subject perception of some natural phenomenon. So why keep looking for them when we can make our own? In a breakthrough at the National University of Singapore, scientists may be able to engineer ghosts.

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  5. Touchscreen Watch Tells Time With Optical Illusions

    In this day and age, when you've got your Walkmans and your iTablets and your new fangled pocketual telephones, people don't wear watches as much as they used to. Just wearing a watch is enough to perplex some of your fellows, I'm sure, so why not wear a truly perplexing watch to perplex them further? The new Tokyoflash Kisai Optical Illusion LCD watch is tops at that, displaying the time via an optical illusion that -- if I'm any indication of "normal" -- takes a bit of training to learn to read, but no training to appreciate.

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  6. Bigger Brains More Easily Tricked by Optical Illusions

    Dr. Sam Schwarzkopf and his colleagues at University College London created an experiment based on the Ebbinghaus illusion, where two identical circles are placed next to each other, though one is surrounded by larger circles and the other identical circle is surrounded by smaller ones, and asked 30 volunteers to guess which of two circles was larger. Afterward, the researchers scanned the volunteers' brains, and noticed that people with a smaller visual cortex experienced the Ebbinghaus illusion more. Interestingly, the team found that the people with a smaller visual cortex tended to have bigger brains.

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