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Last updated: November 2022

I’m a big fan of illusions, and below are some of my favorite illusions and illusion-related items.

What do we see? (game): I began building various illusions myself with the aim of better understanding the conditions under which they occur. Below you can see a video of a work-in-progress game, broadly based on the philosophy of perception. You can also find the game in Dreams here.

Some illusion items I like:

In painting: René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico are my favorite illusion-related painters.

In film: L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) is probably my favorite illusion-related movie. But I’m also a big fan of David Lynch’s works.

In video games: Echochrome is my personal favorite, but more recently there’s Superliminal which is also great.

Below are some of my favorite perceptual illusions. The descriptions and citations aren’t complete but many are from the incredible Akiyoshi Kitaoka. For a more systematic and complete listing see the Illusions Index

See the heart moving without the background moving too.

A nice instance of conflicting cues.

All the circles are the same color!

Humans manage to use everything for war, sadly.

No yellows!

 

Parallel lines!

   The surfaces are identical shapes!

The brown square on the top surface and the orange square on the shaded surface are the same color!

Can you see what’s on the wall?

More conflicting cues!

A black and white photo!

No reds.

A demonstration of what was going on with the viral dress.

Illusions that fool animals!

Do we see motion accurately?

What many don’t know is that you can keep the colors there longer if you keep your eyes focused on the center.

The spinning ballerina illusion with its solution. Occlude one of the two side figures to see the ballerina spin both ways.

The image is changing fairly dramatically, can you spot the difference?

Focus on the center to see a color that isn’t there. Is that color an illusion or a hallucination?

The Ames window, well worth building! 

 

Do we see causation? What about intentions?: