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Description: You have probable seen many visual illusions but have you taken the time to see what people have to say about how or why they work? Understanding illusions can provide insight into how our sensory (visual) system works. Have a look at one or two of the sites linked below and pay attention not just to the illusions but to the explanations.

Source: Various – see links below

Star Wars Scroll Illusion

Date: May 15, 2015

Photo Credit: http://www.illusionsciences.com/

Links: Article Link — http://www.illusionsciences.com/

http://likes.com/eyecandy/amazing-optical-illusions-explained

http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/

http://dragon.uml.edu/psych/illusion.html

So you have probably seen a lot of visual illusions. They pop up on websites all the time and they are discussed in Introductory and Sensation and Perception Psychology texts and classes. But do you know how they work? Understanding an illusion provides insight into how our visual/sensory system works, how we process visual information and how we perceive stability and change in the visual environment. Have a look, speculate as to how each illusion might work and then read what the site suggests as an explanation.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Pick two illusions and summarize the explanations for why/how they work, linking them back to your course or text if it contains a section on Sensation and Perception.
  2. Do we expect to find individual differences in how people perceive illusions? Why or why not?
  3. Are there any illusions that have effects that vary with the age of the perceiver?

References (Read Further):

This site: http://people.cornellcollege.edu/dsherman/illusions/ provides references to journal articles discussing the illusions they show.

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