This week Marshmallow reviews a neat activity book written by Clive Gifford (text) and Rob Ives (paper engineering): Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do.
Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books that are about optical illusions and how they work, then this might be the book for you.
Marshmallow’s Overview: This book is about optical illusions and what makes them so convincing that they fool your brain and eyes in to thinking that something looks different than it actually is.
There is a large variety of optical illusions in the book. At the beginning we learn about literal illusions, cognitive illusions, and physiological illusions.
“Literal illusions simply use one type of object to trick your brain into thinking it is viewing a different object or scene. Cognitive illusions occur because of the way your brain judges and decides on the information sent to it by the eyes. Physiological illusions are designed to exploit the limits of your body and vision system.”
This page from Arizona State University, written by Abigail Howell, explains the difference between these three, in case you want to learn more. There are also neat examples of each in the book.
One of my favorite optical illusions in the book is a physiological illusion called Afterimages. This is where you stare at an image, for example a black light bulb, and then you look at a piece of paper that is white and then you see a glowing light bulb that looks like the light bulb you saw in the book but now the bulb you see is glowing! The reason that this happens is because, according to the book, your special light-detecting cells get tired after staring at an image for a long time, and they send a weak signal so that your brain reads it as the opposite color that the image actually is, thus making the light bulb look like it is glowing.
The book has a total of 64 colorful pages of text and examples of illusions. Then there are twenty pages in the back that have cardboard cutouts. You can “press them out” and they come out easily, so you can build your own optical illusions, little hand-held thingies that you can use to fool or trick your brain and eyes into thinking in strange ways. Some of these hands-on projects are things that you spin and then you see a person running. Some of the papers that you can press out are one that are to help you see why one of the optical illusions work.
Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book which contains many great optical illusions that will definitely fool you. Some are optical illusions that you can build, and some are ones that make your eyes see two images in one picture. The explanations given to explain what is happening in your brain when you get fooled are expertly written so that anyone can understand why you see something that is not on the page.
The authors, Rob Ives and Clive Gifford, have cooked up some great illusions that are really interesting. When these optical illusions are mixed together, they make a mind-boggling illusion book.
This is a hands-on book that includes projects that you can put together by yourself and then amaze your mind. I have only made some of the projects at this point and I am excited to make some more.
Overall Make Your Own Optical Illusions is a great book for all bunnies, especially those who like to play with their minds and hands (or paws?).
Marshmallow’s rating: 95%