My Optical Illusions Journal

By Kimberley

What's the point?

I, Kimberley, am doing a project in Science class (you can see everyone else's on the Navigation Bar under 'Student Pages'). I am studying Optical Illusions, what causes them and why they do or don't work. This is my optical illusions journal, a place for me to record what I've been doing on my project and for analysis of my creations.

Journal Entries

May 6, 2007

Observations for second Optical Illusions (Circles):
Two people said they thought the circles with unshaded triangles worked the best, one said the one that isn't on this page (like the last one on the second line, but with lines radiating from the circle with the filled-in triangles), one person said the circles with V's that are really far away, and five said the circles that both have filled-in triangles (my personal choice).
Here are the labels so that you can see them clearly:
Vs Far Vs Close Un-Shaded Triangles Shaded Triangles Shaded Triangles+ Shaded with
Blank Circle Extended Lines
+ Blank

Conclusion for second Optical Illusion (Circles):
Most people, when asked "There are two circles on each paper. On which paper do the circles seem to have the greatest difference in size?" answered the third one on the first line (the one with shaded triangles). I personally preferred this one, as well, and I believe that, with this drawing (if I actually tested people to see whether they thought one looked bigger) I could make at least 90% of people say yes. I did not complete the experiment the way that I first planned to, so I did not accomplish what I was planning on doing, but I did a slightly different experiment, which I think was honestly a success.

May 5, 2007

Conclusion for first Optical Illusion (Bird-Girl):
I can't necessarily say that I accomplished the purpose that I originally set for myself (create [an] optical illusion that ... can be seen as at least two different 'pictures' (like the vase/two people picture) and at least 10% of people see it each way) because I asked enough people that one person couldn't be 10%, and some people had very original answers, which no one else suggested. In a sense, I accomplished it because the main two 'sightings' were sighted over 10% of the time, but I didn't really have a situation like this in mind when I wrote out my purpose. Depending on how you look at this, it could be concluded that my first illusion failed, but I see it as a success because I now know how to improve it next time I'd like to make the results more even: make it look more like a girl first, then like a bird, because it's easy to imagine something similar as a bird, and many paople did see a bird, so I need more people to see a girl.

May 3, 2007

I guess I will post my observations for my first illusion now!
Observations for first Optical Illusion (Bird-Girl):

Most people I asked saw a bird. The percentages below (corresponding to the graph) are in order from greatest to least, and, in the case of a tie, alphabetical order:

Bird - 53.3%
Girl - 16.6%
Plane - 6.6%
Alien - 3.3%
Camel with no neck - 3.3%
Comb - 3.3%
Inside-Out Ear - 3.3%
Llama - 3.3%
Rabbit - 3.3%
Rug - 3.3%

Most people studied the picture, then rotated it (usually counter-clockwise - not that it matters, just something I found interesting), looked at it some more, rotated it, etc. They usually answered within thirty or forty seconds. Many people wanted to know what other people's answers were, and wanted to look at the drawing again to see if they could understand how the other person could see what they did.

Here is my graph of what people saw when they looked at the illusion below:


I have changed my 'experiment' for the 'circles' illusion. Instead of asking you all "Which circle is bigger?" (since most of you already know that they're the same size), I would like to know, if you don't mind helping me, which pair you think the circles look the MOST DIFFERENT in size - in other words, which one works the best.

May 2, 2007

Okay, I think they should show from now on.
Here is the illusion I really wanted you to see. If you can't tell what it is, you can turn your head to see. If you are in Ms. Mirhaj's class, or I didn't ask you about it in class, please visit the following discussion and tell me what you see:
'Senses' discussions: Illusion 1: Response

May 1, 2007

Today I was experimenting with the famous "Which one is bigger?" style of illusions. You can see my experiments below. In each picture, which circle do you think is bigger?? (Sorry, they didn't scan too well.)
Far_Vs.jpg Triangles.jpg Shaded_Triangles.jpg

Close_Vs.jpg Star_and_Circle.jpg

I started with one, and then began trying variations. It seems that my drawings didn't scan too well because they were in pencil, but you can see them in class, as well if you want to.

April 30, 2007

Sorry I haven't posted my illusion yet. I have been asking people in my homeroom what they see at first glance. I will not say (right now) what their responses were, so as not to influence you.

April 24, 2007

Finally! I have found inspiration! My first optical illusion will be posted both here and on the 'senses' home page in a few days, once it is 'perfected' (is anything really perfect?) and I scan it or take a digital photo of it. After you see it, please leave me a comment about what it looked more like, to you, in the discussion titled "Illusion 1: Response" in the 'Senses' Discussions.

April 22, 2007

Still blanking on ideas...

April 20, 2007

The problem with drawing optical illusions: blanking on ideas. Yesterday I tried to begin drawing an illusion, but I just don't know where to start. I have found a lot of websites with drawings and explanations, but it's not helping.

April 17, 2007

Sorry I haven't entered anything for over a week. Have you taken a look at the links on the senses page (link below)? The fourth website with optical illusions is actually a link to about 30 different pages of optical illusion artists'. It's really interesting.

April 8, 2007

This is my optical illusions journal. I have begun my research on how optical illusions work and how our eye perceives things. Soon I will begin drawing my illusions. Here is what I have found out about sight so far:
If an image falls on our 'blind spot', or the area of our retina that is connected to the optic nerve, it will not be seen. Ciliary muscles change the shape of the lens of your eye so that you can focus on objects that are different distances away. The cornea is the 'covering' on the front of your eye (purpose?) Our eyes use rods and cones that react to light and colour to detect the presence of objects- rods operate during the night, and when it isn't very bright, whereas cones work in bright light. Cones and Rods are photoreceptors. Cones are good for picking up tiny details, while rods are not. The fovea is the part of your eye that contains only cones, so it is good for looking at something with fine details, such as a book. The iris is the coloured part of your eye, and it is a band of muscles that increases or decreases the size of the pupil. The optic nerve carries signals from your eyes to your brain, and then the brain pieces the pictures from the two eyes together. Light passes through your pupil, the 'hole' in the center of your eye. The retina is the tissue on the back of your eye that contains the photoreceptors (rods and cones).

If you return to the 'Senses' page, you can find some links as for where I found this information. I found the last three sites quite useful, but the second and third ones have some good examples of optical illusions.