The Top-Hat Illusion
Looking at the hat, it seems like the brim is shorter than the height, but in reality
they are the same.
Do you know the phrase
'seeing is believing'? Well, this is not always true. Sometimes
our eyes can play tricks on us, or in other words, many
times we fall prey to 'optical illusions.' These are defined as
erroneous perceptions of reality. We all know that although the
camera was made to function just like the eye, there is a world
of difference between vision and photography. While the
physical camera works mechanically, vision is a psychological process,
because the eyes are merely taking in information, but it is the
brain that is 'seeing' or making judgments.
Optical illusions are experienced by everyone, sometime or the other. We all have been
misled by appearances - size, shape, color, movement are examples of
various types of optical illusions. Once the eye sees an object, it sends the images to
the brain. Then the brain has to decide what the image means or what it is. One of the
things that helps the brain make its decision is eye movement - this
helps in judging distances, angles, relationship of objects in space etc. For example, say
we have two lines of the same length drawn in front of us - one horizontal and the other,
vertical. At a glance, it will seem like the horizontal length is shorter because it takes
less time for the eyeballs to move from side-to-side rather than up and down. Therefore,
although we 'logically' know that both lines are equal in length, the eyes deceive
Here are some examples of optical illusions. Hope they make you realize that 'seeing is
not always believing'!
Example 1: This is the most
common optical illusion created by two psychologists - The Muller-Lyer Illusion.
Although both the vertical lines are of the same length, the line with the arrow-heads
pointing outwards (A) makes it appear longer than the right-hand side one (B).
Example 2: The Circle
Illusion - the circle surrounded by the smaller circles (A) seems to be bigger in
size than (B), but this is not so. The relative sizes of the surrounding circles deceive
Example 3: The Faces-Lamp
Illusion is another fairly popular illusion. Focusing on the dark areas, makes it
look like a picture of two faces looking at each other, while concentrating on the lighter
area, you will see a vase shape with a black background.
There are a countless number of
optical illusions in the world - dual picture of an old woman and a young girl,
drawing of both a rabbit and a duck
..So watch out, the most ingenious
organs of the body - our eyes - are not perfect. Sometimes, we need to let the
brain and heart do the 'seeing' and 'believing'.