past0073: January 2012 Archives

In this chapter we will learn about how we conceptualize the world through the use of our five senses. Much of the reading is spend discussing the ways in which our brains are tricked into perceiving a reality that does not exist. Topics such as selective attention, subliminal persuasion, ESP, and in my opinion the most interesting, optical illusions. I have always found illusions to be extremely interesting, and I think perhaps the most interesting part about them is that once you know the trick, you sometimes still can't make your brain see it the correct way. One example of this from the text is the Ames Room. As the video will explain, the room is a trapezoid shape, with the floor and ceiling slanting toward each other.

Due to the relative size principle, our eyes trick our brains into believing that the two people are standing at the same distance from our viewpoint and therefore, one is significantly smaller than the other. This principle was used in the making of The Lord of the Rings and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to make some characters appear dwarf-like. Pretty cool stuff.

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