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Perceptual Illusions

Many of us take our vision for granted. We seem to accurately use our properties of vision with little effort or thinking at all. At times we often see things with our eyes and wonder how can this be possible? Physicist Richard Feyman once wrote, “It’s quite wonderful that we can see or figure it out so easily. Someone who’s standing at my left can see somebody who’s standing at my right – that is the light can be going this way across or that way across, or this way up, or that way down; it’s a complete network. Some quantity is shaking about, in a combination of motions so elaborate and complicated the net result is to produce an influence which makes me see you, completely undisturbed by the fact that at the same time there are influences that represent the guy on my left side seeing the guy on my right side. The light’s there anyway…it bounces off this, and it bounces off that – all this is going on, and yet we can sort it out with this instrument, our eye” (Introduction to Perception [Online]).As you can see by this quote, sight is a very complicated process that is easily controlled by our eyes. However, perceptual illusions need a little more explaining.Take an instant to observe the world around you. If you tilt your head, the rest of the world does not tilt along with you. If you close on of your eyes, you don’t suddenly lose your depth perception. Shades of color seem to vary under different levels and types of illumination. When you move around an object, the shape you see changes, yet the object remains stable (Introduction to Perception [Online]). Just take a peek at the Perceptual Illusions on last page of this report. Even though you may know that you are being fooled, it does not stop the effect from continuing to trick you. This indicates a split between the sensation of seeing it, and the way in which you perceive it. In many cases you...

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