MadSci Network: Other

Re: Why do different people see the same optical illusions differently?

Date: Fri Apr 3 14:08:24 1998
Posted By: Lori Holt, Graduate (Ph.D.) Student, Psychology, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Area of science: Other
ID: 890876091.Ot


You've asked a good question that has puzzled scientists for hundreds of 

There is no absolute answer, but one possibility has to do with attention. 
Sometimes, those people who do not see the illusion simply are not 
focussing on the right parts of the image. With a little hint at what to 
look for, the illusion often pops out.

Perhaps when you thought of this question you were thinking of the "Magic 
Eye" visual illusions where a hidden picture jumps out of an image when you 
"cross" the focus of your eyes toward the center. The trick is getting your 
eyes to converge like you are crossing them. Some people are very good at 
this naturally. Other people have trouble, but can learn with a bit of 
trial-and-error practice. A small percent of people just can't do it at 
all. These people won't be able to see the "secret" image hidden in the 

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me.

Lori L. Holt

Current Queue | Current Queue for Other | Other archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Other.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1998. All rights reserved.