Optical Illusions occur when the brain misinterprets what is actually visible to the eye. Knowledge and memory give us an expectation, and then logic is applied but sometimes the brain assumes the wrong thing. Prejudice can also affect our impression of what is there, and tiredness can play tricks too. The brain relies on our long-term memory to provide clues and inform it of familiar and recognisable things, and it will often fill in gaps and replace missing lines to help the eyes identify what is there. The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a perception that does not tally with what is actually there.
We were shown pictures and shapes which were cleverly designed to deceive the eye and were not quite what they seemed! Sometimes several of us saw different things from the rest of us in the same picture! We found that by inclining our heads to one side or another the view altered and a different image appeared instead!
Colin Hopper also showed us examples of words which could be written in a certain way so that they appeared correct even when turned upside down! There were black and white portraits which – when inverted – turned out to be portraits of other individuals or animals altogether!
A photo of 2 identical tables placed together at an angle made them appear completely different in size, until Mr Hopper took a similar- sized piece of card and laid it over each table in turn to prove they were the same!
A large black and white jigsaw showing silhouettes of 78 rabbits in 6 rows of 13 could be re-arranged so that it contained a plain empty square in the middle where one rabbit had gone missing!
All the pictures and puzzles were intriguing and thought-provoking, and it was a very entertaining evening!
Our December 5th meeting is a demonstration of crafts and textiles, and then there’s the Christmas Social to look forward to on December 19th in the Vine Lounge!