Can you believe your eyes?


Can you believe your eyes? You'll be the one to decide as this program focuses on optical/visual illusions.

What is an optical illusion?

Simply, an illusion tricks us into perceiving something differently than it actually exists, so what we see does not correspond to physical reality. An optical illusion is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a perception that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. There are three main types:

  • literal optical illusions: they create images that are different from the objects that make them
  • physiological illusions: they are the effects on the eyes and brain of excessive stimulation of a specific type (brightness, colour, size, position, tilt, movement)
  • cognitive illusions: they are the result of unconscious inferences


Fun illusions

Here is a slideshow presentation with some popular illusions you might have encountered. For the best experience, try to maximize the presentation by clicking on the bottom-right button of the presentation frame (it looks like 4 arrows going outward).


More on optical illusions

Beau Lotto, the founder of a hybrid art studio and science lab called Lottolab, tries to illuminate the mysteries of the brain's visual systems and explain why we percieve these illusions. In the next video, Beau presents some colorful games and cool illusions to explain a bit on how our brains work.

Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see: 19:00 min

For the best experience, view the video in full screen. To do so, double click on the video once it starts to play.

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