Illusion


Illusion

An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. While illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people. [ Solso, R. L. (2001). Cognitive psychology (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.ISBN 0-205-30937-2] Illusions may occur with more of the human senses than vision, but visual illusions, optical illusions, are the most well known and understood. The emphasis on visual illusions occurs because vision often dominates the other senses. For example, individuals watching a ventriloquist will perceive the voice is coming from the dummy since they are able to see the dummy mouth the words. [McGurk,H. & MacDonald, J.(1976). "Hearing lips and seeing voices", Nature 264, 746-748.] Some illusions are based on general assumptions the brain makes during perception. These assumptions are made using organizational principles, like Gestalt, an individual's ability of depth perception and motion perception, and perceptual constancy. Other illusions occur because of biological sensory structures within the human body or conditions outside of the body within one’s physical environment.

The term "illusion" refers to a specific form of sensory distortion. Unlike a hallucination, which is a distortion in the absence of a stimulus, an illusion describes a misinterpretation of a true sensation. For example, hearing voices regardless of the environment would be a hallucination, whereas hearing voices in the sound of running water (or other auditory source) would be an illusion.

Mimes are known for a repertoire of illusions that are created by physical means. The mime artist creates an illusion of acting upon or being acted upon by an unseen object. These illusions exploit the audience's assumptions about the physical world. Well known examples include "walls", "climbing stairs", "leaning", "descending ladders", "pulling and pushing" etc.

Optical illusions

: "Main article: Optical illusion"An optical illusion is always characterized by visually perceived images that, at least in common sense terms, are deceptive or misleading. Therefore, the information gathered by the eye is processed by the brain to give, on the face of it, a percept that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. A conventional assumption is that there are physiological illusions that occur naturally and cognitive illusions that can be demonstrated by specific visual tricks that say something more basic about how human perceptual systems work.The human brain constructs a world inside our head based on what it samples from the surrounding environment. However sometimes it tries to organise this information it thinks best while other times it fills in the gaps. This way in which our brain works is the basis of an illusion.

Auditory illusions

: "Main article: Auditory illusion"An auditory illusion is an illusion of hearing, the sound equivalent of an optical illusion: the liner hears either sounds which are not present in the stimulus, or "impossible" sounds. In short, audio illusions highlight areas where the human ear and brain, as organic, makeshift tools, differ from perfect audio receptors (for better or for worse). One of example of an auditory illusions is a Shepard tone.

Tactile illusions

: "Main article: Touch illusion"Examples of tactile illusions include phantom limb, the thermal grill illusion, the cutaneous rabbit illusion and a curious illusion that occurs when the crossed index and middle fingers are run along the bridge of the nose with one finger on each side, resulting in the perception of two separate noses. Interestingly, the brain areas activated during illusory tactile perception are similar to those activated during actual tactile stimulation [ Gross, L 2006 THIS REFERENCE IS INCOMPLETE] . Tactile illusions can also be elicited through haptic technology [ [http://www.roblesdelatorre.com/gabriel/GR-VH-Nature2001.pdf Robles-De-La-Torre & Hayward 2001] ] . These "illusory" tactile objects can be used to create "virtual objects" [ [http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17363&ch=biotech&sc=&pg=1 The Cutting Edge of Haptics] (MIT Technology Review article)]

Other senses

Illusions can occur with the other senses including that of taste and smell. It was discovered that even if some portion of the taste receptor on the tongue became damaged that illusory taste could be produced by tactile stimulation. [ Todrank, J & Bartoshuk, L.M., 1991] . Evidence of olfactory (smell) illusions occurred when positive or negative verbal labels were given prior to olfactory stimulation [ Herz R. S. & Von Clef J., 2001] .

Disorders

Some illusions occur as result of an illness or a disorder. While these types of illusions are not shared with everyone they are typical of each condition. For example migraine suffers often report Fortification illusions.

References

*Yoon Mo Jung and Jackie (Jianhong) Shen (2008), J. Visual Comm. Image Representation, 19(1):42-55, [http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1326364.1326487&coll=&dl=&CFID=11849883&CFTOKEN=72040242 "First-order modeling and stability analysis of illusory contours"] .

See also

* Argument from illusion
* Augmented reality for a more radical approach to the possibility of illusion
* Delusion
* Dream argument
* Simulated reality

External links

* [http://www.virtuescience.com/universalveiling.html Universal Veiling Techniques]
* [http://www.metacafe.com/watch/838119/best_rotating_pictures_illusion/ Best Rotating Illusions Video]
* [http://www.metacafe.com/watch/985327/you_will_not_believe_make_your_own_illusion_in_few_sec_o/ Make own Illusion video]
* [http://www.visualfunhouse.com Illusion Database] Daily Illusions
* [http://www.sandlotscience.com/EyeonIllusions/whatisanillusion.htm What is an Illusion?] by J.R. Block.
* [http://www.michaelbach.de/ot Optical illusions and visual phenomena] by Michael Bach
* [http://www.brl.ntt.co.jp/IllusionForum/basics/auditory/index-e.html Auditory illusions]
* [http://www.roblesdelatorre.com/gabriel/haptics.htm Haptic Perception of Shape] - touch illusions, forces and the geometry of objects, by Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre.
* [http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2006/05/illusions_of_taste.html Illusions of taste]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusion_Mini_Keelboat Illusion Mini Keelboat]


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  • Illusion — Illusion …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • ILLUSION — ILLUSI Métaphoriquement dérivé de la réduction psychologique des enchantements magiques et des découvertes de l’optique géométrique, couronnant, avec Kant, la critique relativiste de l’optimisme leibnizien, le concept moderne d’illusion a conquis …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • illusion — ILLUSION. s. f. Apparence, ou artifice, dont on trompe un homme. Ce n est rien de solide, ce n est qu une illusion, une pure illusion, une belle illusion Il se dit plus ordinairement des tromperies que font les demons, en faisant paroistre aux… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Illusion — Il*lu sion, n. [F. illusion, L. illusio, fr. illudere, illusum, to illude. See {Illude}.] 1. An unreal image presented to the bodily or mental vision; a deceptive appearance; a false show; mockery; hallucination. [1913 Webster] To cheat the eye… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Illusion — Sf std. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. illusion und l. illūsio ( ōnis), dieses zu l. illūdere (illūsum) täuschen, betrügen, verspotten , zu l. lūdere (lūsum) Possen treiben, spielen, täuschen und l. in . Adjektiv: illusorisch;… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • illusion — [i lo͞o′zhən] n. [ME illusioun < OFr illusion < L illusio, a mocking (in LL(Ec), deceit, illusion) < illusus, pp. of illudere, to mock, play with < in , on + ludere, to play: see LUDICROUS] 1. a false idea or conception; belief or… …   English World dictionary

  • Illusion — Illusion, (v. lat.), 1) Betrug, Täuschung der Sinne; 2) täuschende Nachahmung, bei allen Kunstwerken, deren Absicht auf Nachahmung der Natur geht, ein unerläßliches Erforderniß. Daher Illusorisch, was die Illusion befördert; täuschend …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • illusion — I (deception) noun aberration, distortion, fallacy, false impression, misbelief, misconception, prestidigitation II (impression) noun apparition, artifice, chimera, daydream, deception, delusion, dream, figment, hallucination, masquerade, mirage …   Law dictionary

  • illusion — (n.) mid 14c., act of deception, from O.Fr. illusion a mocking, deceit, deception (12c.), from L. illusionem (nom. illusio) a mocking, jesting, irony, from illudere mock at, lit. to play with, from assimilated form of in at, upon (see IN (Cf. in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Illusion — »Wunschbild, Selbsttäuschung«: Das Fremdwort wurde im 17. Jh. aus gleichbed. frz. illusion entlehnt, das auf lat. illusio »Verspottung, Täuschung; eitle Vorstellung« zurückgeht. Dies gehört zu lat. il ludere (< inludere) »hinspielen, sein… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • illusion — [n] false appearance; false belief apparition, bubble*, chimera, confusion, daydream, deception, déjè vu*, delusion, error, fallacy, false impression, fancy, fantasy,  figment of imagination*, fool’s paradise*, ghost, hallucination, head trip*,… …   New thesaurus


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