Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Situational Awareness

Last night I watched a show about vision.  They got to the part where they discuss magic tricks and optical illusions.  Basically, your brain only "sees" a small amount of what you think you see.  The rest is filled in by your brain.  That is why your brain falls for the optical illusion below.  Basically, the question is, what square is darker?  A or B?

This show had a card trick.  I used to do a little (very little) magic, so I am interested in this.  Person #1 had person #2 pick a card out of the blue deck of cards.  When person #2 put it back,  the deck of cards was red.  I felt pretty proud.  I notice the slight of hand that switched the deck.  What I did not notice was the background, both people's shirts and the table cloth all changed during this trick.  I missed it all because I was watching the deck of cards.

I told my wife about this.  She told me about a teaching conference she was at where they  showed a video of people passing a basketball.  I searched high and low on the internet and could not find it.  Then, right before I was going to give up for the night, I decided to check google reader.   A new post from Commute by Bike caught my attention.  It was a minor variation of the test my wife had talked about.  I don't want to give it away.  If you take it, please do not give it away in the comments.  I'll be honest.  I failed.

Here's the test.  Let me know how you do.

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2 comments:

Fritz said...

I passed, but that's only because I was familiar with the UIUC video that your wife probably saw. It's tricky and clever!

Rick Logue said...

I knew there would be some trick and I still failed. I am kind of embarrassed about that.