Andy Pols CTO, Entrepreneur

Visual Mistakes

Our brain filters and interprets what we see to help make sense of the World around us. Simply measuring the light coming from a surface is not enough to understand the surface. A white surface in shadow, for example, may reflect less light than a black surface in full day light.

I first came across Edward H. Adelson’s maddening checker shadow optical illusion while reading Kathryn Schultz’s fascinating book “Being Wrong”. The squares labelled A and B in the following picture are the exact same shade.

Image of illusion

You don’t have to take my word for it, you can watch it on YouTube - in all its maddening glory!

This process appears hardwired. It doesn’t matter how many times you see this illusion, your brain still gets it wrong!

I recommend the book. It’s rather humbling to realise how wrong you can be; from what you hear, what you see and what you think!

Thanks to Sam Owen telling me about the YouTube video.

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