Friday, 17 Dec, 2010 Science
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Smaller Visual Cortex Means More Chances of Being Duped by Optical Illusion

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According to the recent findings, the size of your brain matters. Researchers say that the size of brain's visual cortex is linked with the way the person perceives the world.

It would be interesting to note that the visual cortex of one person can be 3 times bigger than the cortex of another person, even if these people are of the same age.

A team of researcher from the University College London carried out a number of tests on volunteers. They ran MRIs while showing the volunteers different optical illusions. They goal was to see how people perceived each image.

The first image featured an Ebbinghaus illusion. Researchers asked the study participants which of the two circles was smaller. Most people said that the circle on the left was smaller. However, the two circles were of the same size.


The second image features a Ponzo illusion and the participants were asked to tell which line was longer. Most of them answered that the second line was longer. However, both lines were of the same length. Scientists noticed that every person perceived the illusion is a different one - some said that there was a big difference in the size of the two lines, while some said that they saw a very small difference, reports Nature.


Dr. D. Samuel Schwarzkopf, the lead researcher, said that the tests demonstrated that the smaller a person's visual cortex is, the more he or she is likely to be tricked by an optical illusion and vice versa. "Optical illusions mystify and inspire our imagination, but in truth they show us that how we see the world is not necessarily physically accurate, but rather depends a lot on our brains," he said.

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