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Is your brain ready for Monday? Tease your mind with these four optical illusions

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A great way to learn more about our brains and minds is to look at how we can trick them–that is, to see how we react to brain teasers and visu­al illu­sions.

Below are four fun opti­cal illu­sions that let us learn­ about our visu­al system…ready?

(answers and expla­na­tions at the bot­tom)

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Test your Brain and Mind with these 9 Classic Optical Illusions

Are the two orange cir­cles of the same size? 

One way to learn more about our brains and minds is to look at how we can trick them–that is, to see how we react to brain teasers and visu­al illu­sions.

Quick facts: The brain has two hemi­spheres, each divid­ed into four lobes. Each lobe is (large­ly) respon­si­ble for dif­fer­ent func­tions. For instance the frontal cor­tex (in yel­low) is respon­si­ble for deci­sion mak­ing and plan­ning; the tem­po­ral lobe (in pur­ple) for lan­guage and mem­o­ry; the pari­etal lobe (in green) for spa­tial skills, and the occip­i­tal lobe (in red) is entire­ly devot­ed to vision: It is thus the place where visu­al illu­sions hap­pen..

Below are 9 opti­cal illu­sions that com­bine fun and learn­ing about our visu­al sys­tem. We know you know there is a trick since these are illu­sions… but don’t try to be smarter than your brain; enjoy being sur­prised!

(You’ll find answers and expla­na­tions at the end of the arti­cle)

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Visual illusions to tease our brains and minds

Café_wall_illusion.svg

Why Opti­cal Illu­sions Like These Make Your Brain Go Hay­wire (Wired):

Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol researchers dis­cov­ered this illu­sion in the ear­ly 1970s while look­ing at the tiled wall of a café. Hence the name, Café Wall Illu­sion. The gray lines in between the rows of white and black squares seem to con­verge, but they are actu­al­ly par­al­lel. Your brain, over­whelmed by the intense and close­ly-spaced black-and-white con­trasts, sees the gray lines as part of the tile either above or below it. The lines end up appear­ing high­er on alter­nat­ing sides, cre­at­ing the trape­zoidal illu­sion.”

More visu­al illu­sions and brain teasers:

Tease your mind with visual illusions


This is one of the Win­ners of the 2014 Best Illu­sion of The Year Con­test. Enjoy!

Expla­na­tion: Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Four Essential Yet Overlooked Facts About Your Brain

brainstormingTime for Sharp­Brains’ Decem­ber 2013 e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing a vari­ety of resources, brain teasers and arti­cles. Enjoy the reading…and Hap­py Hol­i­days!

Fea­tured resources:

Brain teasers:

Research and indus­try news:

Please remem­ber that we are host­ing a num­ber of webchats in Jan­u­ary to dis­cuss your impres­sions and ques­tions about  The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age (284 pages; 2013), so we hope you can spend some time read­ing the book over the hol­i­days, and per­haps even dis­cuss it with friends and rel­a­tives.

We wish you Hap­py Hol­i­days and a Pros­per­ous 2014!

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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