Optical Illusions

This illusion is a rabbit and a duck.

By: Jacob W.

Have you ever seen an illusion that shows two things in one? Well, if you haven't look at the title. The title says optical and illusion. That illusion is called Pareidolia illusion which is one of the many types of illusions. An illusion is when you see something that does not exist or that is other than it appears. Its also something that tricks your eye into seeing something not there or other than it really is. Some illusions show two things in one or maybe something smaller or bigger than it originally appeared to look. Here are some different types of illusions.

Distorting Illusions

The first type of illusion is a distorting illusion. Distorting illusions are the most common illusions. Distorting illusions make pictures look like they are different lengths and sizes. In a distorting illusion the brain see objects that are actually the same size but looks smaller when they are farther away, and look larger when they are closer. So if you are looking at a picture of trees and they get a little bit smaller each tree it goes down its because the tree is supposed to look farther away than the trees up in the front of the picture. Distorting illusions consist on where the objects are placed. Distorting illusions happen from false brain impressions.

Ambiguous Illusions

The next type of illusion is the ambiguous illusion. An ambiguous illusions is where your brain sees something inside something else. Sometimes ambiguous illusions include pictures or objects that offer significant changes in appearance. So sometimes if you looked at it differently it will change. Ambiguous illusions are the information that is already in our brains. Ambiguous illusions happen because the brain is looking at the closest information to what you are looking at. Ambiguous illusions make the brain quickly choose information that matches the object, but if you look at the illusion for a long time your brain will finally figure it out. You can only see one ambiguous illusion at a time. This is because your brain cannot return two assumptions at the same time

Paradox Illusions

The next illusion is the paradox illusion. Paradox illusions are generated by objects that are paradoxical or impossible in real life but they look convincing in two dimensional drawings. Paradox illusions are recognized early in the brain process. In paradox illusions the brain tries to use one interpretation and then another, but it can't settle because none of available views make any sense. Paradox illusions are illusions in 2-D that can’t be possible in the 3-D world. Brain imaging scans show impossible images recognized very early in the process of perception.

Cognitive Illusions

The last type of illusion is a cognitive illusion. Cognitive illusions are commonly divided into ambiguous illusions, distorting illusions, and paradox illusions. So cognitive illusions are every illusion that was stated before this. Cognitive illusions can also exploit or fully use the predictive hypotheses of early vision processing. Instead of demonstrating physiological base they interact with in-built assumptions or knowledge are misdirected. Which means they don’t use their molecules, cells and organs to see this illusion. They use in built assumptions in the cognitive illusion.

Your eyes

Have you ever wondered what is happening to your eyes during an illusion? Well if you have ever wondered it is because the brain processes information and sends it to your eyes. Sometimes it is misleading and it is an optical illusions. 30% of our binocular vision is stone blind so we miss a good part of what we see because of blind spots and we never notice a difference. Our brains have learned to fill in what we don't see by making intelligent guesses and thats why we see illusions.


Our brains are masters of assumptions (which is what makes a optical illusion.) Comprehension is powered by a assumptive brain. All we see is ambiguous until the mind can figure out what your looking at. Illusions trick our brains into reaching erroneous conclusions, based on erroneous visual assumptions. The mind cannot process two assumptions. Your brain uses mental images to assume the backgrounds of images. Mental images are what drive optical illusions.

What do Illusions mean?

Have you wondered where did the word illusion come from. Well, the word illusion is Latin. Illusion is a Latin verb, illudere meaning, to mock. An illusion is like mocking because illusion is a trick. Sometimes mocking can be a trick so illusion is a trick for your eyes.

The Performer

I bet you're wondering who performs illusions. Well Illusions are usually performed by stage magicians. Most magic tricks are actually illusions. For instance when a magician cuts someone in half. They are actually not cutting someone in half. They are tricking the people who are watching to think that they actually cut someone in half.


So as you can see, Optical Illusions are a mystery for the brain. There are many types of illusions to trick your brain such as Cognitive illusions, Paradox illusions, Distorting illusions, and Ambiguous illusions. You also now know that you need to have assumptions to see illusions. Also you know about what happens to your eyes. Now you know about the mystery of illusions.

Works Cited

Carter, Rita, Susan Aldridge, Martyn Page, Steve Parker, Christopher D. Frith, Uta Frith, and Melanie B. Shulman. The Human Brain Book. London: DK Pub., 2009. Print.

Howarth, Jan, and Patrick Greene. Unlock the Secrets of Your Mind: Mental Challenges and Visual Teasers. New York: Tangerine, 1999. Print. citation 4

"Illusions." National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. citation 3

Smith, Katherine Joyce. Astounding Optical Illusions. New York: Sterling Pub., 1994. Print.

"Visible Magic: The Art of Optical Illusions Paperback – November 6, 2012." Visible Magic: The Art of Optical Illusions: Robert K. Ausbourne: 9781402766985: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2014. citation 7

Woodward, John, Serge Seidlitz, and Andy Smith. How to Be a Genius. New York, NY: DK Pub., 2009. Print.

" World-Mysteries.com." World Mysteries: Illusions and Brain Teasers, Cognitive Illusions. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014. citation 2

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