Thursday, May 13, 2010

Red Lines

So, check out the two red lines.

The one at the end of the hall is longer than the one in the foreground, right?

Wrong! Get a ruler and measure each one. On the computer screen, they are exactly the same length.

Yes, your brain is lying to you. Isn't that amazing?

For an explanation, check this out. The explanation by Phil Plait also describes the illusion of why the moon looks so huge on the horizon.


Ken Marable said...

What's also crazy, is that in the beginning of our visual cortex, right where our brain interpreting the eyes' most basic data, it appears that our brain registers the lines as different sizes. (For the technical, the retinotopic mapping in V1 is actually different sizes.)

Although this is due to feedback from the higher processing, it just goes to show that NOWHERE in your brain are those lines represented accurately. In the absolute most rudimentary level of your brain's visual system (even before breaking things into lines and edges), our brain is already processing false information.

Bruce R Cordell said...

Ken, that's doubly insane! Thanks for sharing, I had no idea. More evidence that we really just can't rely, without question anyhow, on our senses and first instincts.