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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)

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Test your Brain with these Teasers and Visual Illusions

ebbing haus illusion testAre the two orange circles of the same size? One way to under­stand more about the brain is to look at how we can trick it, that is, to look at how the brain reacts to teasers and visual illusions.

Here are 10 visual illu­sions to com­bine fun and learn­ing about the visual system. We know you know there is a trick since these are illu­sions… but don’t try to be smarter than your brain: Just enjoyed being surprised!

To go beyond the illu­sions, read about what hap­pens in your brain while you expe­ri­ence them. Read the rest of this entry >>

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