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University of Nevada, Reno continues $10 million biomedical studies for COBRE grant
Date:7/8/2014

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"The illusion represents a very important step forward for the theoretical perspective in the field," Caplovitz said. "And I think the scientific community appreciated that and it was part of the reason that the illusion was selected."

More than 30 illusions were submitted and the top 10 illusions were chosen on their scientific merit to be presented at the contest in May. The best illusion was chosen by a popular audience vote at the event. The presenters had five minutes to create a visual extravaganza highlighting the illusion. If they go over the allotted time, they are physically removed from the stage.

"In our case, we chose to present the Dynamic Ebbinghous in a Dr. Seuss style poem," Blair said. "While the illusion itself was very spectacular, I think that people also appreciated humor and entertainment."

The illusion stems from the classic Ebbinghaus illusion created in the late 1800s. The well-known illusion features a central circle that appears larger or smaller based on the size of the circles around it. The team added motion to the illusion creating the award-winning Dynamic Ebbinghaus effect.

"We found that when we applied motion, it greatly accentuates the effect," Caplovitz said. "It greatly enhances the magnitude that the target circle appears to change even though it is not changing."

Some of the biggest names in the vision science field participated in the contest and news about the team's win has been widely covered by many scientific publications. The competition will be featured in an upcoming issue of Scientific American Mind.

"It is good exposure for the University, for our graduate program, for Chris and it is fun," Caplovitz said.

Blair says the contest has given him a great platform to continue his research with the brain and with illusions.

"Illusions are so assessable both to the general public and within the visual scientific community," Blair s
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Contact: Natalie Savidge
nsavidge@unr.edu
775-784-4611
University of Nevada, Reno
Source:Eurekalert  

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