Seeing and Believing

 

 

 

It has long been realised that the human eye is not perfect and also that, given a little visual prompting, the brain is easily confused or fooled.

 

Optical illusions have provided art and entertainment for centuries, from at least the time of the ancient Greeks to the present day in recent times scientists have come to understand why many of these illusions work. Some are still the subject of study and debate.

 

In today's edition of The Mercury is the second magazine in the Human Body Series, which focuses on The Brain. Plus, Learning has published a double-page colour spread on Optical Illusions.

 

 

Activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eye Tricks - Your brain can't always interpret what your eyes see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Pictures

 

 

 

Websites

 

Eyetricks.com
www.eyetricks.com
Although a lot of these sights seem to carry much the same stock illusions, this one has just that little bit extra, including experiments that you can do and there is even a page where you can generate your own stereograms.


Sandlot Science.com
www.sandlotscience.com
There are so many interesting things about perception and optical illusions on this site that it is hard to know where to start. This is simply the best thing there is on the web, although some of the illusions make take a while to load, while others will require plug-ins.


Grand Illusions.
www.grand-illusions.com
Some great illusions including magic tricks, with stuff you can try.


Books


Optical Illusion Experiments

By Michael A. DiSpezio.
This book not only shows you how you can create some of your own optical illusions but it also explains the reasons why funny things happen to your eyes and your brain. (Sterling Publishing, distributed by Capricorn Link Australia)

 

Optical Illusion Magic

By Michael A. DiSpezio.
Rather than just present loads of optical illusions and make your head spin the author of this book gives reasons why these illusions happen. (Sterling Publishing)

 

Eye Popping Optical Illusions

By Michael A. DiSpezio.
More great optical illusions and their explanations. (Sterling Publishing)

 

Senses: Seeing

By Karen Hartley, Chris Macro & Philip Taylor
An exploration of the sense of sight, using photographs, simple text, activities and diagrams. The book covers the anatomy of the sense organs and how sight works; what this sense is used for; information about what happens when something goes wrong with the senses; and further reading. (Heinemann Library)

Magic In Art

By Alexander Sturgis
This title covers such things as trompe l'oeil, diminishing perspective and vanishing points, the work of Escher, anamorphosis, the colour 'tricks' of pointillism and op-art and the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't of the 'two faces or one vase?'. (Heinemann Library)

 

How Our Bodies Work: How Do Our Eyes See?

By Carol Ballard
Explores the human eye and its ability to provide information about the world. It looks at how light travels through the eye and where in the eye images are seen. Two activities are included to explain how we see in the dark and why two eyes are needed to judge distance and shape. (Hodder & Stoughton Childrens Division)