Truth is a matter of perception

Perception of reality

Image 1: See what is not there.

Small gray dots appear at the intersection of the white lines between the squares. But if you try to fix one of these points, it will disappear.

Fig. 2: Ambiguous representation.

The dark area shows an Eskimo and the opening to his igloo as well as an Indian with a headdress. The ear of the Indian is also the arm of the Eskimo, and the legs of the Eskimo represent the neck of the Indian. Once you have perceived both figures, you can no longer fix one without the other moving into view from time to time.

Image 3: Background illusions and changeable images.

When we look at things, we tend to divide our visual impressions into object and background. In illustrations, the object is usually darker than its background. In general, the object is also smaller and more regular in texture than the background. Sometimes this is not the case, however, and difficulties arise in deciding what is the object and what is the background. In picture 3 there are in reality no complete triangles at all, our eyes tend to fill existing gaps, and so we can see two, six, eight or even no triangles at all.

Image 4: Size and image distortions.

Our ability to correctly assess sizes and shapes is often impaired by the context in which the objects viewed are placed. Even when we are aware of the impairment, it is often not possible to adapt the perception to the circumstances. In this picture both middle parts are the same size. The different sizes of the surrounding circles influence your assessment.

Image 5: Depth perception.

The perception of three-dimensional objects is based on many clues that can also be displayed on a two-dimensional surface. If one of a number of such clues (e.g. for depth) that coincide with one another falls out of line, the brain will bring it into agreement - regardless of reality. In picture 5 you have no spiral at all, only circles in front of you. Move the mouse pointer along the "spiral" and you will come back to the starting point.

Image 6: Searching for meaning.

It seems as if we cannot stand chaos and are only satisfied again when we recognize meaning (meaning, explanation) in something. I once found this plastic on the beach while on vacation. Since it had no title, I slowly walked around to find out what it represented. It was in vain. But at a certain point - and only there - I suddenly saw the picture on the left in front of me. At that moment it occurred to me that it should be a cube (or a cube), and then I had to laugh out loud because I realized that this explanation was only created in my head by optical illusion and had nothing to do with reality .

Source of the pictures and texts 1-5: Card game "See what is not and not see what is", Prof. JR Block and Prof. HE Yuker, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, USA, ed. Time-Life -Books.