Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions by Michael Bach

Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions
133 of them – by Michael Bach


"Optical illusions don’t “trick the eye” nor “fool the brain”, nor reveal that “our brain sucks”, … but are fascinating!

They also teach us about our visual perception, and its limitations. My selection emphazises beauty and interactive experiments; I also attempt explanations of the underlying visual mechanisms where possible.

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»Optical illusion« sounds pejorative, as if exposing a malfunction of the visual system. Rather, I view these phenomena as highlighting particular good adaptations of our visual system to experience with standard viewing situations. These experiences are based on normal visual experiences, and thus under unusual contexts can lead to inappropriate interpretations of a visual scene (=“Bayesian interpretation of perception”).

If you are not a vision scientist, you might find my explanations too highbrow. That is not on purpose, but vision research simply is not trivial, like any science. So, if the explanation seems gibberish, simply enjoy the phenomenon :wink:."

More here: Bach & Poloschek (2006) Optical Illusions Primer; on the programming: Bach (2014, PDF).