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Seeing the world differently
Date:12/5/2010

tex in each volunteer. They found a great deal of variability in the size of this area. Surprisingly, there was a strong link between its size and the extent to which volunteers perceived the size illusion the smaller the area, the more pronounced the visual illusion.

"Our work is the first to show that the size of part of a person's brain can predict how they perceive their visual environment," explains Dr Schwarzkopf.

"Optical illusions mystify and inspire our imagination, but in truth they show us that how we see the world is not necessarily physically accurate, but rather depends a lot on our brains. Illusions such as the ones we used influence how big something looks; that is, they can trick us into believing that two identical objects have different sizes.

"We have shown that precisely how big something appears to you depends on the size of a brain area that is necessary for vision. How much your brain tricks you depends on how much 'real estate' your brain has put aside for visual processing."


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Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert  

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