Author Archives: Stephen L. Macknik

A Virtual Trick to Remove Racial Bias

A team of researches changed people’s races in a full-body virtual reality immersion experiment

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Deploying Deception on the Battlefield

To avoid or at least control conflict, militaries often play tricks on their opponents’ perceptions 

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Off-the-Top Is an Off-Broadway Mix of Rap and Neuroscience

Freestylin’ rapper Baba Brinkman and neuroscientist Heather Berlin drop a brainy beat at the Huron Club every Wednesday for the next seven weeks

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A Snowy Illusion for the Holidays

Once you know the "Snow Blind illusion", you won’t be able to wait for winter.

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Faster Than the Speed of Vision

Scientists have found the speed limit of vision with an illusion in which nothing moves at all

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The Case of the Oversized Planet

Illusions noticed by Galileo can help explain how we see light and dark 

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The Stars in Your Eyes

Galileo saw celestial spheres spinning in space, but was dismayed by effects we now know arose in his brain: The same Jovian moon could appear small or big depending on whether it was dark or bright…

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Sculpting the Impossible: Artists Make Solid Renditions of Visual Illusions

Artists find mind-bending ways to bring impossible figures into three-dimensional reality

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The Illusions of Love

How do we fool thee? Let us count the ways that illusions play with our hearts and minds

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The Illusions of Love

How do we fool thee? Let us count the ways that illusions play with our hearts and minds

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Pain Is Controlled as Much by the Brain as by Sensation

Pain is an emotion

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Aviator’s Dilemma: Pilots Encounter Illusions Everywhere

Military aviators learn to second-guess their senses

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Advertisers Play with Time for a Reason

Marketing illusions that make time fly

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The Power of Afterimages in the Mind

Staring at images can temporarily reset retinal cells and cause ghostly visions

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Straight Lines That Curve, Circles That Twist and Other Mind-Bending Illusions

Illusions that distort your perception

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A Perspective on 3-D Visual Illusions

What the leaning tower and related illusions reveal about how your brain constructs 3-D images

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A Perspective on 3-D Visual Illusions

What the leaning tower and related illusions reveal about how your brain constructs 3-D images

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A New Look at Vision

A critical new discovery redefines the primary organizing principle of the visual cortex, and explains much of the illusory perception when we see light and dark stimuli

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