March 27, 2020

Senses Under Illusions

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ⓒ Edward H.Adelson / http://web.mit.edu/persci/people/adelson/checkershadow_illusion.html / Copyrighted free use

“What are the colors of part A and part B in the picture?”

“Part A is gray and part B is white!”

Most people may answer like this. Then, are they really right? The correct answer is “The colors of A and B are the same.” If it is difficult to believe, cover everything else and look at just the two parts without any surrounding colors. Among the senses of human bodies, the largest percentage of the sense that receives information is sight. But sometimes the sense of sight falls into an illusion. This is called optical illusion.

One of the reasons that cause optical illusion is that the brain does not accept the information as it is projected onto the retina of the eye but infer from surroundings or existing knowledge in the cognitive process. In the photo too, as the influence of the surrounding color and the thought, ‘A shadow makes it look dark,’ were added, part B looks brighter. Even after it turned out that they are the same color, they still look different. Isn’t this interesting?

Our senses are inaccurate. The knowledge and information we get through such senses too may be incorrect. This is why we have to put down our illusion that my thoughts, feelings, and judgment are right.

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