Posts about illusion

Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe Hybrid Image

Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe Hybrid ImageThis image looks like Albert Einstein up close. If you back up maybe 3-5 meters it will look like Marilyn Monroe. Image by Dr. Aude Oliva.

Hybrid images paper by Aude Oliva, MIT; Antonio Torralba, MIT; and Philippe G. Schyns University of Glasgow.

We present hybrid images, a technique that produces static images with two interpretations, which change as a function of viewing distance. Hybrid images are based on the multiscale processing of images by the human visual system and are motivated by masking studies in visual perception. These images can be used to create
compelling displays in which the image appears to change as the viewing distance changes. We show that by taking into account perceptual grouping mechanisms it is possible to build compelling hybrid images with stable percepts at each distance.

Hybrid images, however, contain two coherent global image interpretations, one of which is of the low spatial frequencies, the other of high spatial frequencies.

For a given distance of viewing, or a given temporal frequency a particular band of spatial frequency dominates visual processing. Visual analysis of the hybrid image still unfolds from global to local perception, but within the selected frequency band, for a given viewing distance, the observer will perceive the global structure of the hybrid first, and take an additional hundred milliseconds to organize the local information into a coherent percept (organization of blobs if the image is viewed at a far distance, or organization of edges for close viewing).

Very cool stuff.

Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe Hybrid ImageThis is just a smaller image of the above (all I did was shrink the size). For me, this already looks like Marilyn Monroe, but also needs a shorter distance to see the image seem to change.

Related: Illusions, Optical and OtherHow Our Brain Resolves SightSeeing Patterns Where None ExistsMagenta is a Colorposts on scientific explanations of what we experienceComputational Visual Cognition Laboratory at MIT

Illusion of Explanatory Depth

The “Illusion of Explanatory Depth”: How Much Do We Know About What We Know? (broken link was removed)

Often (more often than I’d like to admit), my son (Darth Vader over there on the left) will ask me a question about how something works, or why something happens the way it does, and I’ll begin to answer, initially confident in my knowledge, only to discover that I’m entirely clueless. I’m then embarrassed by my ignorance of my own ignorance.

I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if it turns out that the illusion of explanatory depth leads many researchers down the wrong path, because they think they understand something that lies outside of their expertise when they don’t.

Great stuff. It took me a lot longer to stop asking why, why, why than most kids. I only gave up after years of repeated obvious clues that I was not suppose to ask why (once I aged past 5 or 8 or something – I actually have no idea when it is no longer desired). But most days I, curious cat, want to ask how does that work, why do we do that, why can’t we… I just stop myself. But it does mean I asked myself and realized I don’t really know. So I am at least more aware how little I really know, I think I am anyway.

The internet is a great thing. Google doesn’t mind if you ask as many questions as you want.

Related: Theory of KnowledgeFeed your Newborn Neurons

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