Author Archives: Stephen L. Macknik

Illusions from the National Archives in New York City

National Archives of New York City archivist Christopher Zarr reveals how deeply the art form of camouflage was pursued 100 years ago during World War I

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The Senses at the American Museum of Natural History

The exhibit at the AMNH is a new and totally fresh look at our sensory systems, with demonstrations that you won’t see elsewhere

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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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