Geometric Illusions

Geometric illusions are examples of how our mind attempts to find orderly representations out of sometimes ambiguous and disorderly 2d images. The images transmitted from our retina to our brain are imperfect representation of reality (for example 2d images cannot accurately represent 3d space). Our visual system is capable of performing complex processing of information received from the eyes in order to extarct meaninful perceptions. Sometimes, however, this process can lead to faulty perceptions.

Look at this illusion:

Are the lines crooked are straight? If you stare at a single cube, do the adjacent lines appear to slide past each other?

This illusion probably results from the visual system trying to arrange the broken black and white stripes into nice orderly vertical bars. The illusion is especially noticeable when you focus on a single squaure. In that case, your visual system only receives information about the crookedness from your peripheral vision (a less trustworthy source of information), so it tries harder to arrange the broken lines.

prev [1 2 3 4 5] next