Do you like optical illusions and testing your visual perception? Then I challenge you to find the odd number out in each of these pictures.
Can You Find the Odd Number Out?
The following is a sequence of 10 visual tests. At first glance, the number in each of them all appears the same, and each test themselves seems to be the same as the one before it. In each of them, however, one of the numbers is not like the rest. Can you find them? (1)
If you can, congratulations – you have incredible visual perception! Now you just have to challenge your friends and family as well.
What Optical Illusions Tell Us About Visual Perception
Visual perception, aka sight, is a complex process. It is the result of a system between our eyes and our brains that analyzes the light waves and objects we see, takes in information about the world, and helps us make sense of it all. (2)
Our perception is how the brain fills in the gaps, so-to-speak: for example, how we recognize what an object is when it is partly blocked or obscured and we can’t see it in its entirety. Studying how our brain does this can provide us with much information on how human beings see the world, and optical illusions provide the perfect setting to study our perception. This is because they involve ambiguous images that force the brain to make decisions about what it is seeing. (2)
Most optical illusions are from processes in our brain’s cortex, however, some do start in the retina of the eye. (2) How we perceive optical illusions – what we see when we look at them – relies on a few things (2):
- Texture gradients
- Atmospheric perspective
- Object size
- Parallax movement
- Linear perspective
Not only can optical illusions help us better understand our brain-eye connection, but they are pretty fun, too. (2) It’s always an interesting debate when what you see in a picture isn’t what someone else sees.
Why Optical Illusions Are Good for Your Brain
Optical illusions can help to improve your mental agility and have some real brain-health benefits. (3) Here are just a few ways these mind-eye games are good for your brain:
1. Visual Literacy
This is all about your ability to interpret visual information. When you look at an image or object, your brain uses visual cues to understand what you are seeing. An example is pouring water out of a kettle: you expect to see steam coming off of it. (3)
Optical illusions test your brain’s ability to do this by not providing the complete context necessary to discern the information. The more you do, the more your brain figures out how it is being tricked and how to work around it. (3)
2. Improved Ability to Interpret Complex Images
Some optical illusions are based on images that are meant to have more than one way to interpret them. A good example of this is the two faces, one vase image. Usually, you will be able to see just one of the images first, then eventually you will be able to see both once your brain figures out how to flip back and forth between the two interpretations. (3)
There are plenty of other ways to train your brain other than optical illusions, as well. Puzzles, learning a new skill, exercise, and meditation all help to improve the function and health of your brain. (3)
So what are you waiting for – start trying out more optical illusions, and make sure you share this with your friends and family.
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