Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Dr. Anger & Mr. Smile

Take a look at the image below. The top guy seems pretty angry, doesn't he? The bottom guy looks calm and serene, almost feminine. Now take a few steps back from your monitor ... you might to back 6 or more feet.

Dr. Angry and Mr. Smile
Wow! Did you see the faces swap places?

Pretty cool, huh?

This type of optical illusion is called a Hybrid Image. Hybrid images "change interpretation as a function of viewing distance." This means it looks different depending on far, or how close, you are to the image.

According to Aude Oliva and Philippe Schyn of the University of Glasgow, this optical illusion "illustrates the ability of the visual system to separate information coming from different spatial frequency channels." How this is accomplished is by use of coarse and fine features. When you are close to the image, you can make out both types of features. As you move away from the image, your eyes lose the ability to distinguish the finer features from the coarse. This makes the images appear to swap.

There are other very interesting optical illusions you can reach via clicking the image above, as well as other information presented by Oliva and Schyn related to this phenomena.

The image used above is a derivative of Aude Oliva & Philippe G. Schyns' copywrited original image.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 38 days is:


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