Focus on the black dot on the left side of this image. But wait, the studio staggered a bit, you have to finish reading the request. While focusing on the left black dot, try to answer this question:
Which direction do you see the right object moving in?
Alright, you’ve probably seen it. Does the right object follow diagonally? You see it diagonally up to the right, then diagonally down to the left?
Nearly everyone has the same answer as you. But in fact, we were all wrong! The object on the right is moving up and down only in a vertical vertical line. It does not cross a bit.
If you don’t believe it, try moving your finger along the image.
This visual illusion appeared because the object had moved up and down, but the black and white plates in it moved horizontally. Taken together, they disturb our vision and create awareness of cross movement.
This simple picture is a lesson for us, that experience is not always true. Never believe immediately what you see, or think you have seen the nature of something. But is there anything more profound than that?
In fact, when scientists delved into the truth in this illusion, they almost reached a boundary region supposedly the nature of human consciousness. There, there are philosophical questions, and if any, there will reshape everything in the world we think we live in.
Is it a real world or not real? And if so, how real is it?
Patrick Cavanagh, a professor of neurology at Dartmouth University, Canada said: “The important thing to understand is that we are not seeing a reality. We are just seeing a story created for us.”
Most of the time, the story our brains create is in line with the real world, but not always. Our brains always unconsciously bend our awareness towards the fact that we want it to happen.
In a similar way, the brain often invents its own “reality” to fill in gaps that it does not see or not perceive.
For example, by experience, a man can guess the beauty of a woman from the back. Of course, these are not always true. But if the girl does not turn away forever, he can turn that imagination into a reality throughout his life.
Where is the blind spot of the brain?
Visual illusions are the best example to show us that the brain has blind spots. And also the best means for us to look for those blind spots. Where are they located in the brain? When we mistakenly perceive an illusion, where is the brain wrong?
In 2019, Professor Cavanagh and some of his colleagues used the same animation of a moving object to explore how our brain creates that illusionary motion. They used the fMRI magnetic resonance scanner to scan the visual cortex of the volunteers, while showing them two images of the crosstalk.
The first image is the illusion that you saw at the beginning of this article, the cross motion is fake. While the second image below, the cross motion is real:
The result was surprising, the visual cortex, responsible for processing visual signals in the brain, did not seem to be deceived by hallucinations. The various signals that pop up between the two images show that the visual cover can sense separate up and down movements.
This means that when light from a computer screen hits your retina, which is then processed by the visual cortex, the signal here is still correct, the illusion has not yet appeared.
Scientists say the brain signal pattern only begins to overlap when it reaches the frontal lobe of the volunteers – a more advanced area of thinking, dedicated to prediction and decision making. The frontal shell turned out to be the place where the two movements were synchronized to create an illusion.
“The frontal lobe is a whole land, where visual analysis, computation and prediction are taking place. And they occur outside the visual system.”Professor Cavanagh said. That’s where the brain invented the story is different from reality – at least in this example.
To be sure: Vision is a complex system that involves about 30 brain regions involved. There are other hallucinations that seem to deceive the visual cortex immediately when you see it, without touching the frontal lobe.
But no matter what, once a part of your brain has been deceived by hallucinations, it will have difficulty overwriting. “truth” that. Even if you know the image you see is an illusion, when you look at it again, you still see that movement as a cross motion.
Here is a similar example:
Although the two cells A and B placed next to each other are completely one color. But when it is set in a setting, where cell B is obscured by the darkness of another object, it immediately becomes brighter than cell A.
“So even if you know the truth of what’s going on, you still see reality in the illusion.“, Justin Gardner, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, said. You are powerless to overwrite your misconception, once the brain is what created it. Like a baby. The knife can never handle its handle.
We do not see reality. Our visual perception is 100 milliseconds slower than the real world.
Why do we see a story about the world – a story created, not an objective reality? Sometimes it’s not an error, it’s actually a feature.
Our brains don’t have the resources to process all the information we continually receive through our senses, typically vision, Susana Martinez-Conde, a neuroscience and virtual researcher. Sense at SUNY SUNY Medical Center said.
Think about the illusion you saw at the beginning of the lesson. As objects in the image move, the light from them from the screen shines on the retina at the back of our eyeballs.
The retina turns a light signal into an electrical signal, then converts it to the visual cortex, then from the visual cortex to the frontal lobe, where the information is processed. This whole process takes a bit of time, creating a slight delay.
Awareness in our brain is “lag“about 50 milliseconds, in the case of sight, when signals are sent around, the number goes up to more than 100 milliseconds. So what you see now is actually a thing of the past. occurred more than 100 milliseconds ago, said Adam Hantman, a neuroscientist at the Janelia Research Facility at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
However, there is one very interesting thing here. If we only rely on this lag information to navigate the body in the real world, things will get very messy. You will not be able to smash the mosquito in front of you, or grab a falling ball.
But the truth is we can still do that, right? That’s because the brain has drawn one “reality” in the future, compensate for the lag movements you see.
The illusion below is an example, it is named “flash-lag”.
What actually happens here is that the red dot is moving across the screen and the blue dot is blinking in place. The blue dot will light up just as the red dot crosses the vertical position relative to it.
But it’s hard for you to see these two dots aligned? The red dot always seems to go a little further forward.
That is “reality” that the brain has drawn. It predicts the path of the red dot and pulls it forward about the distance it will travel in 100 milliseconds, coinciding with the visual delay.
“We always see objects moving in front of the position ahead of a segment on the path they move“The hallucinations were actually a function, not an error,” explained Professor Cavaghagh. It helps us offset the lag that processing activities in the brain cannot keep up with the real world.
And here is another similar illusion:
You always see the red square seems smaller than the blue square. But just click on them, they are exactly the same size. It is the movement of the background that creates the illusion.
The stories that our brain creates are influenced by life experiences.
The brain is telling us a story about the motion of objects when hovered on the screen or swipe the phone to read this text. But that is not the only story it can tell you.
The brain is also very good at telling stories about more complex aspects of our visual world, such as colors.
Take a look at the illusion below designed by Japanese psychologist and artist Akiyoshi Kitaoka:
A color illusion of Akiyoshi Kitaoka
In fact, the colors of the squares that move around here have not changed. But on different panels, you seem to see it has distinctly different colors. Obviously, the perception of colors in our brain is just something relative, not absolute.
So what happened?
We can accept this phenomenon when considering color is actually just an inference of the brain. Our eyes act as a precise photon receiver, with the correct wavelength of the object producing accurate and distinct colors.
But a part of our brain does not accept that. Given the inherent life experience, the brain knows a red object will not seem red if it is bathed in blue light.
The ultimate goal of the brain is to determine the color of the object, not measure the wavelength that comes from it. Therefore, the brain applies itself to a color filter, which filters out blue light from the object, and turns it back into red.
Essentially, smells and colors are just hallucinations created by our brains, said Sam Schwarzkopf, a vision scientist at the University of Auckland.
And remember the illusion with this dress?
In 2015, this illusion broke the global online community. Half said it was yellowish white, while the other half said it was dark blue. That’s just the consequence of the different colored filters that each group’s brain uses.
Half thought that this dress was being bathed by daylight, so the brain would set a blue filter out of the picture, returning its color to white gold. The other half said that the skirt was taken at night, under artificial light, the brain set up a light filter that made it blue and black.
Interestingly, an online study of more than 13,000 people found that people who stayed up late at night often saw the dress in black and blue. In contrast, early risers are more likely to give it a yellowish white color.
In short, when faced with ambiguity – like the bizarre light in this dress photo – our brain fills the vagueness with whatever it is most familiar with. .
In the unconscious, sometimes the brain’s inferences are transformed into “truth” so clever that you no longer realize it’s an inference or an illusion.
Try looking at the illusion of a triangle below.
In the unconscious, you would imagine a triangle between circles like pacman. But actually, that triangle did not exist. That’s just an inference of the triangle that the unconscious has created in your mind, just because from childhood to adult, you’ve seen too many triangles.
In 2003, the journal Nature Neuroscience published an article about the case of a man (called Patient MM) who lost his eyesight when he was 3 years old, but managed to recover it with an operation at 40 years old.
When he was shown this illusion, the man did not see a triangle at all. What he sees are merely round circles and sharp corners.
But after two years, the man turned to the scientists that he now saw the triangles. The process of building visual experience from the beginning at the age of 40 finally put the man into an illusion that lasted from the age of 42 until the end of his life.
Can we still believe our eyes?
It is a question that will surely be a headache for perfectionists who are obsessed with the truth and never live in an illusionary world like Matrix.
After all, if all we see is an illusion, just stories built by the brain, how do we get out of it?
There are those who will choose the blue pill to continue living with a pre-programmed system, in a world with relative truths. But if you choose the red pill, you will have to constantly find new sources of information, as well as seriously questioning the nature of things around you.
Victoria Skye’s cafe wall illusion: The horizontal lines are really parallel, and they are horizontal without even tilting at all. If you do not believe you try to measure the distance between the ends of them from the two edges of the image.
Visual hallucinations are just one of many small realities that are bent in response to previous experience, emotions and a virtual world that you unconsciously want to live in. In addition, hallucinations can occur even with more complex processes such as thinking about politics, pandemics or the reality of climate change.
Scientists call it social illusion. For example, racist psychology in America is like an illusion. Sociological studies show that many Americans think that black men are usually taller than white men (therefore, they are more likely to be threatening).
Similarly, the darker skin color is also attributed to the characteristics of criminals. American police officers may mistake a black man to take out his wallet and imagine an illusion that they are pulling a gun.
In short, in every situation if you want to choose the red pill, you have to be aware of the fact that your first glance does not always reflect the nature of an event.
And an illusion can be so real that even if you know it’s an illusion, it can still appear so real to your eyes.