How Do Optical Illusions Work? Our Brain Is Actually Taking Shortcuts!

The human mind is a complex phenomenon to understand. It is probably the most intelligent one among primates known to man, yet, it also is easily fooled and tricked by the most simple things. From swirling pinwheels to hidden faces, cleverly designed and effective optical illusions can easily trick us into seeing things that are never there!

The basis for many illusions is solely inside our brain, as expressed in an article for The Conversation by Kim Ransley- a Ph.D. student, and Dr. Alex Hocombe- an Associate Professor from the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. 

They claim that the visual illusions like these show us that humans don’t have direct access to reality. The research provides a great insight into the mental processes that connect us with the viewable world.

Instead of delivering information that is perceived by our eyes and as they exist in reality, the brain tries to interpret things according to the evolutionary makeup and conditioning through experiences and shows us shapes and objects that are never present.

When the information enters the eye, the brain tries to make educated guesses and shortcuts to understand it. The video below explains how this happens and shows some astounding visual illusions in the process!

You have not yet played the video, but these wheels have started to spin! Congratulations, your brain has been tricked again!

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