Do you trust your own eyes?
There are certain things we can rely on: the sky is blue, the world is three-dimensional, and the further away an object is, the smaller it gets. Do you truly believe that?
Over the course of evolution, our eyes and our brain have successfully adapted to everyday visual situations. When viewing optical illusions, the brain seeks to apply familiar patterns to what it sees. But when our eyes lack necessary points of reference (such as other objects, input from touching and hearing) our eyes and brain are left up to their own devices and often deliver faulty interpretations. Many optical illusions still can’t be precisely explained. Nevertheless, they make us aware in a fascinating way of the extent to which our picture of the world depends on how our brain assesses incoming information. Optical illusions are used in the field of medicine to diagnose epilepsy and migraine. In Rorschach tests, psychologists exploit the fact that we seek familiar structures even in random patterns. Or do you really believe that there’s a man in the Moon?
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Bach, Prof. Daniel Mojon, Prim. Priv. Doz. Dr. Siegfried Priglinger (AKh Linz)