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Are Optical Illusions Real?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By apom95
Words 636
Pages 3
Aaron Pomerleau
Mr. Hiatt
3 April 2014
Is it true? Look at an optical illusion and you may think you're seeing things, such as a curved line that's actually straight, or a moving object that's standing still. You wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you. But you can’t help but thinking, could it be real?
It's not all in your eyes. An illusion is proof that you don't always see what you think you do because of the way your brain and your entire visual system perceive and interpret an image. Visual illusions occur due to properties of the visual areas of the brain as they receive and process information. Your perception of an illusion has more to do with how your brain works and less to do with the optics of your eye.
Everything that enters the senses needs to be interpreted through the brain, and these interpretations occasionally go wrong. Illusions, may serve as a test to determine whether scientists understand vision correctly. When light hits our retina in the eye, about one-tenth of a second goes by before the brain translates that into a visual perception of the world. Our brains compensate for this neural delay and so it attempts to generate an image of what it will perceive one-tenth of a second in the future. Optical illusions occur when what our brains predict does not match the reality.
A better way to think of it is in order to compensate for this massive loss of information and provide us with visual perceptions that are rich in contrast, color, and movement, the brain introduces abstract parameters that often fill in or amplify the fragments of reality that it is given to work with. The brain's powers to interpret visual information in this way are so great that it sometimes creates an impression of coherence where there is none, in other words, an optical illusion. Also it's because we learn to process certain images automatically. This is because our early development "hard wired" our perceptions. As a result, we learn to subconsciously interpret the images we see every day. As a result of that, our minds learn to recognize and automatically process images and associate them with meaning and identity. For instance, young children learn to distinguish unique features in individual faces early in life. The most amazing thing might be is how the brain all while is trying to predict what is about to happen in the very near future.
The brain is one of the most important parts of the body, for good reasons. But even the best get messed up or can be tricked at something. The brain, in all its wonders, can at times even outsmart itself per-say, providing a live stream through the eyes while searching for any and every tiny clue available for what to expect next, therefore making it susceptible to tricking itself every once in great while. But in it all, I can’t help but admire at how amazing God made us humans, and in this case, specifically our brains.

Works cited

Rice, Timothy, Dr. "Chapter 5 - Sensation and Perception." Psychology: A Christian Perspective. High School Edition. Epworth: Rocking R Ventures, 2011. N. Print.

Bach, Michael. " 108 Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions (Visual Illusion · Optische Täuschung)." Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena. N.p., 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Apr. 2014. <>.

Wolchover, Natalie. "The Most Amazing Optical Illusions (and How They Work)."LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 08 Aug. 2011. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <>.

Cherry, Kendra. "Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization." Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2014. <>.…...

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