The same structures that interpret signals from our eyes, ears and other sensory organs are the very organs that cause dreams, illusions, and inaccurate memories. Neuroscientists use visual illusions to help them understand how the brain decides what is real and what is not. Artists have produced visual illusions to help gain understanding about how our visual system works. Visual illusions show us that our brains can misinterpret what is actually real in the physical world. Pavement paintings or Anamorphic Art assume a 3-dimensional form when viewed from the appropriate viewpoint. If the image were viewed from the “wrong side”, the viewer would notice the distortions the artist used to create the illusion.
Stationary patterns can produce the illusion of movement. Scientists have discovered that these images activate areas in the brain similar to the ones activated during actual motion. The eyes have to be moving around the image to create this illusion. If the eyes stand still, the motion will stop. Notice the first image. Fix your eyes on the black spot in the center and you’ll see that the motion stops. Move your eyes throughout it and it begins to imply movement once again.