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Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles

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A collection of visual illusions with explanations of the science behind them, gathered from the Best Illusions of the Year contest. --


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A collection of visual illusions with explanations of the science behind them, gathered from the Best Illusions of the Year contest. --

30 review for Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    A fantastic book, containing a list of illusions that will have you wondering just what your brain is up when you look at the environment, observe A, only to learn that what you see wasn't A at all. The illusions are divided into various categories, each illustrated with several illusions with possible explanations on what the illusion might be doing to mystify your brain. Not all the illusions are explainable; this field is very much still a work in progress. Some illusions can be seen as static A fantastic book, containing a list of illusions that will have you wondering just what your brain is up when you look at the environment, observe A, only to learn that what you see wasn't A at all. The illusions are divided into various categories, each illustrated with several illusions with possible explanations on what the illusion might be doing to mystify your brain. Not all the illusions are explainable; this field is very much still a work in progress. Some illusions can be seen as static ones, requiring you to only look at them. Others require you to move your eyes or the book to see it and others depend on you staring for some time before the illusion becomes apparent. Most illusions will be apparent to a majority of readers while some may not work due to subtle differences in how the brains of some readers work. Another class of illusions are described in the book but not presented as they as moving illusions which don't work as static images in the book. For those, you have to go the Best Illusion of the Year Contest website to see them. An excellent book to read to discover how the brain can be fooled into seeing something that should not be there. It is also an interesting examination of how evolution has shaped our visual system and how illusions can help reveal just how the brain works to interpret how it sees the world.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordi

    Amazing! Be enchanted by lots of visual illusions not discribed in detail until now. Looking forward for the second part in 2027 featuring the next 10 years or so of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Blakeslee

    I love this book. Every page is a delight. Let your mind expand and be surprised!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas V

    Extremely well done!!! It is obvious that the authors and the publishers strove to offer a high-quality product and they achieved it on many fronts: on the selection of the illusions, on the effort to explain them, on the quality of the illustrations, on providing a thought-provoking introduction, on including relevant references, and on having a sensible mix of illusions from the Best Illusion of the Year Contest and some "additional illusions to help explain important ideas". Given how success Extremely well done!!! It is obvious that the authors and the publishers strove to offer a high-quality product and they achieved it on many fronts: on the selection of the illusions, on the effort to explain them, on the quality of the illustrations, on providing a thought-provoking introduction, on including relevant references, and on having a sensible mix of illusions from the Best Illusion of the Year Contest and some "additional illusions to help explain important ideas". Given how successful they were with the illusions they included, I only wish they could include more illusions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephen L.

    Thanks to Jorge-Otero-Millan for the outstanding cover art! We’re also so very grateful to our beloved Illusion contestants who succeed in pushing the limits of reality every year with their amazing new illusions!

  6. 4 out of 5

    R Alex

    Fascinating illusions, and there is some amazing stuff in here. Very entertaining. I wish most books gave me as much pleasure as this one!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Waite

    As an academic radiologist whose job it is to detect and characterize abnormal findings on medical imaging, an understanding of perception is of critical importance. With their ongoing research and this text, Drs. Martinez-Conde and Macknik continue to shed light on the neural mechanisms behind what we see. The study of the neuroscience behind illusions can lead to insights on how radiologists perceive abnormalities amid a sea of normal findings and how sometimes we fail to detect important find As an academic radiologist whose job it is to detect and characterize abnormal findings on medical imaging, an understanding of perception is of critical importance. With their ongoing research and this text, Drs. Martinez-Conde and Macknik continue to shed light on the neural mechanisms behind what we see. The study of the neuroscience behind illusions can lead to insights on how radiologists perceive abnormalities amid a sea of normal findings and how sometimes we fail to detect important findings resulting in medical error. This book is gripping and a testament to their dual role as academicians and educators and is highly recommended to anyone interested in how we perceive reality.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sally Norton

    I am a fan of the authors' Best Illusion of the Year contest http://illusionoftheyear.com/ This book shares, discusses, explains some of the best of the best from this contest in a way that is both understandable for the layperson but also scientific. It is also a fun book with excellent illustrations. Great idea for Christmas gift! I am a fan of the authors' Best Illusion of the Year contest http://illusionoftheyear.com/ This book shares, discusses, explains some of the best of the best from this contest in a way that is both understandable for the layperson but also scientific. It is also a fun book with excellent illustrations. Great idea for Christmas gift!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rumeur

    This book is awesome! I’ve always loved optical illusions as a kid & well.....still a kid as heart & still love optical illusions! IMO this is also a great coffee table book. If a friend/s come over or relatives etc., they can peruse through the book while I’m perhaps finishing cooking or whatever the situation. I believe all ages can have fun with a book like this! The authors write a small forward & table of contents, but mainly, on left side of book,they describe what the optical illusion is, This book is awesome! I’ve always loved optical illusions as a kid & well.....still a kid as heart & still love optical illusions! IMO this is also a great coffee table book. If a friend/s come over or relatives etc., they can peruse through the book while I’m perhaps finishing cooking or whatever the situation. I believe all ages can have fun with a book like this! The authors write a small forward & table of contents, but mainly, on left side of book,they describe what the optical illusion is, tell you what to do, such as staring, or looking at pictures a certain way then looking another. There are quite a few in this book & it perked me up during these cold, gray winter days, bringing a smile to my face & something to do, differently, than my mundane winter day boring “rituals” I placed this book on my coffee table & I really can’t wait until nicer, warmer days come along, where my friends & family pay a visit & hopefully pick the book up & try some during their visit. Great conversation starter material & again, just so much fun. All ages easily enjoy these little eye trick “games” I won this lovely hardback version in Goodreads giveaway & in return have posted an honest review of a totally different book for a change! It was a great pleasure & I will be keeping this book on MY coffee table for a long time. This book, for me, is a keeper! I usually read books I win, then happily give them to others I know, or my local library for others to enjoy, but have decided THIS book is going to be in my home. Many thanks to both authors & the publisher of this fine book :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike Elphick

    I read this book because I've always wanted to learn the secrets behind "magic" illusions. As an engineer, I could usually figure out how the various gadgets and environments were constructed. For example, I knew that a bird cage was designed to collapse into a flat package that could be slipped into a pocket in a magician's cloak to make it "vanish". But the tricks I was unable to unravel were the ones based on optical illusions and other neuroscience. This book promised to deliver those explan I read this book because I've always wanted to learn the secrets behind "magic" illusions. As an engineer, I could usually figure out how the various gadgets and environments were constructed. For example, I knew that a bird cage was designed to collapse into a flat package that could be slipped into a pocket in a magician's cloak to make it "vanish". But the tricks I was unable to unravel were the ones based on optical illusions and other neuroscience. This book promised to deliver those explanations. But, initially, I was disappointed. I bought the Kindle version of the book. But, of course, a Kindle reader cannot display the colors or dynamics of illusions. I could see the colors on a tablet or desktop computer, but I still couldn't see any movement. Then I learned that the book was really a companion to online videos of the Champions of Illusion contests. Then I was able to watch the staged illusions on my computer and read the explanations in the book. However, readers should be warned that only about half the book is devoted to explanations of the illusions. The rest consisted of biographies, acknowledgements and similar academic background material. So the book is more like an academic journal than a theatrical experience.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erikka

    This book was a blast! I love optical illusions and how weird the human brain is, so having a book is illusions with the explanation for why our brain does what it does was heaven! This book would be so fun to read with my nephews and break their tiny minds. Cannot recommend enough! One star off because some of the illusions didn't have explanations (the ones at the beginning of the chapters) and a few of them were, like, action based (the invisible gorilla) which took away from a visual book. I This book was a blast! I love optical illusions and how weird the human brain is, so having a book is illusions with the explanation for why our brain does what it does was heaven! This book would be so fun to read with my nephews and break their tiny minds. Cannot recommend enough! One star off because some of the illusions didn't have explanations (the ones at the beginning of the chapters) and a few of them were, like, action based (the invisible gorilla) which took away from a visual book. I wanted more puzzles to play with!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nuff

    I checked this book out for reference on some visual explorations I was doing, and was pleasantly surprised to find a book that delves into the phenomena that drive optical illusions, as well as the art applying these principles, and the artists creating them. There is plenty of narrative here, as well as theory and imagery, which makes the book a lot more compelling as a straight read. Of course, it's still a great reference book as well. I checked this book out for reference on some visual explorations I was doing, and was pleasantly surprised to find a book that delves into the phenomena that drive optical illusions, as well as the art applying these principles, and the artists creating them. There is plenty of narrative here, as well as theory and imagery, which makes the book a lot more compelling as a straight read. Of course, it's still a great reference book as well.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Some fascinating optical illusions...some of them I never did understand.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Don Kent

    Interesting but not fascinating.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Fabulous compilation of illusions with detailed explanations. This book is well worth it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Brilliant examples, well-illustrated and with accompanying videos on the website illusionoftheyear.com

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susana

    Just finished my own copy! Our publisher, Scientific American and Farrar, Straus and Giroux's joint imprint, did a beautiful job of printing all the gorgeous illusions in full color and making them pop. Just finished my own copy! Our publisher, Scientific American and Farrar, Straus and Giroux's joint imprint, did a beautiful job of printing all the gorgeous illusions in full color and making them pop.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shivendra

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Shelnutt

  22. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

  23. 4 out of 5

    Urszula

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jovany Agathe

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike Van

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ken Sayles

  27. 5 out of 5

    Meaningless

  28. 4 out of 5

    Javier F Maroto

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Farid Achsan

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