Take a glance at this image. You probably see a man’s face. Perhaps you even think he resembles President Abraham Lincoln. If you see him, that’s good. But you still got some work to do. Within this image, three more things are hiding. Because it is all before you, it is technically in plain sight. But do you have the creative imagination to decode the image of the bearded man’s face and see what is hiding there? It isn’t easy, but it is worth a few minutes of your time. When you find the hiding things, you can then challenge your friends to do the same.
BrainBashers reports that this picture first appeared as an advertisement for the Ford Pill Company.
So what is hiding in the image with this old man? His three daughters of course! But can you see them? Take a closer look than you did before.
Within a few minutes
Optical illusions have found a resurgence in popularity in recent years and for a good reason.
They are proof that the eye and the brain are not connecting. Something about the image is tricking the mind into seeing something that isn’t there.
Michael Bach is a vision scientist. The University of Freiburg Eye Hospital employs Bach as a professor of neurobiophysics in Freiburg, Germany at
He told ABC that optical illusions are “a mismatch between the immediate visual impression and the actual properties of the object.”
Because the brain interprets visual stimuli, it sometimes gets it wrong. The brain is looking for patterns and shortcuts, so it doesn’t have to spend all its energy on interpreting what is before it. Imagine if your mind had to figure out everything every moment of the day. It would overload. By finding patterns, the brain can quickly interpret what is before it. But of course, this leaves it open to making mistakes.
Bach tries to clarify that your eyes are not failing you when you see an optical illusion. Instead, he suggests that you should think how you “cannot always trust (your) visual system.”
Optical illusions are not just fun to do. But they can be instrumental in helping scientists learn more about the brain. Because they trick the mind into seeing something that isn’t there, scientists can dive into it and learn how the mind works. The brain is very complicated after all.
“(Optical illusions) widen the mental horizons and make it clear that things are a little different than they seem,” Bach said.
Mark Changizi is another scientist interested in optical illusions. He works at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York as a neurobiologist and assistant professor of cognitive science.
“The brain is always constructing things, which is helping you survive. Some of these constructions can be fiction,” said Changizi. “Illusions occur when the brain attempts to perceive the future, and those perceptions don’t match reality.”
Put these insights to work for you as you look at the image of this old man. Can you see his daughters? Or is your brain getting in the way?