Perception

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Perception

Take a look at these photos of Jim and Nora: They’ve clearly been distorted (using the “spherize” filter in Photoshop), but in opposite directions. Jim’s been “expanded” to make more spherical, while Nora has been “contracted” to look more concave. If you look at these photos for a while, you might have difficulty recognizing how…

You may have noticed that Cognitive Daily hasn’t exactly been living up to its name recently. During the summer vacation season, we travel quite a bit, so it’s difficult to maintain our usual pace of posting. But along the way we’ve collected some great photos, and we’ll try to share a few of them with…

How do we remember scenes?

Take a look at this quick movie. What you’ll see is two sets of three views of the same scene (our living room). For each group of three views, your job is to decide if the third view is taken from the same angle as one of the two previous views. After the first two…

[Originally posted in November 2006] The recent controversial shooting of an unarmed black man in New York has generated terrible grief and perhaps justifiable anger. But if officers honestly believed the man was armed and intended to harm them, weren’t they justified in shooting? Perhaps, but an important additional question is this: were they predisposed…

[Originally posted in January 2008] When we watch a movie, we’re usually not conscious of the cuts made by the editor. The camera angle may change dozens of times during a scene, and we follow along as if the flashing from one viewpoint to another wasn’t at all unusual. You might think this is just…

The hollow-face illusion is one of the most dramatic and robust illusions I’ve ever come across. It’s been known for well over 200 years, but it never ceases to amaze me, as this video demonstrates: A three-dimensional hollow face mask held a few feet away will appear to be convex (turned “out” towards the viewer)…

How do we recognize scenes?

Take a look at this movie (you’ll need a video player like QuickTime or Windows Media Player installed in your browser to see it). You’ll see four different outdoor scenes flash by, one at a time. The scene itself will only be displayed for a fraction of a second, followed immediately by a distraction pattern…

Take a look at the following pictures of U.S. dimes. As you can see, they are slightly different from one another — the date is in the incorrect spot on one of them. Can you tell which one is “wrong”? Let’s make this a poll: Which dime has the date in the correct spot?(polls) Is…

I’ve always been amazed by people who are truly bilingual. While I’ve studied languages in school, I’ve never been able to seamlessly switch between languages, and even my best non-English language, French, is choppy at best. Compare this to the people I see in restaurants or on the subway, who can have conversations in two…

[Originally posted January, 2007] Nearly all video games that offer a first-person perspective — where the view on-screen simulates what a real person would see as she navigates through the virtual environment — also include a virtual map to help in navigation. Even my favorite golf game has one. Such maps can be indispensable, but…