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Laboratory for New Media, 17th Exhibition “Visual Illusion Lab in the Land of Mathematics”
Welcome to the Land of Mathematics!
They make you feeling dizzy and confused?!

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)

Exhibition site “Visual Illusion Lab in the Land of Mathematics”

The world is full of visual illusions. Everyone has experienced them at least once in their life. However, the mechanism behind this phenomenon has not been comprehensively defined so far.

The Müller-Lyer illusion, which was published in 1889, is a visual illusion consisting of a stylized arrow. Although your visual system tells you that the line with outward arrows is longer than the inward one, a ruler would confirm that they are equal in length.

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) exhibits the Laboratory for New Media, 17th Exhibition “Visual Illusion Lab in the Land of Mathematics” until May 15 (Mon), 2017.

Two researchers, Hitoshi ARAI (Doctor of Science, Professor, Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences, the University of Tokyo), and Kokichi SUGIHARA (Doctor of Engineering, Professor, Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, Meiji University), exhibit their respective visual illusions produced from different approaches. There are 18 exhibits in total.

Dr. ARAI studies mathematical models of visual information processing in the neurons of the human brain. He realizes the computerization of the mathematical process of visual information in the neuron. His studies are focused on 2D works, such as a still image that looks like it's moving, and an image that looks different depending on one's visual proximity.

Dr. SUGIHARA materializes a visual illusion, a “ball going up downhill” phenomena in a 3D work, which seems impossible in real life. In his work, he uses a mathematical structure (geometry) to explore questions of the mechanism, whereby shape information reaches the eyes by means of light.

You can find visual illusion in real life, such as stereoscopic signs and crosswalks Ė they are actually the same colors, but look different when lined up together. You say, “Oh, I see” when you figure out the mechanism. However, when you go back to look at them, you again start thinking, “What? Why?” Why donít you penetrate deeper into this mysterious world of visual illusions?

Fractal spiral illusion: Fractal patterns in a concentric circle looks like a spiral. A fractal is an infinitely complex pattern that is self-similar across different scales. This pattern was created by Hitoshi ARAI and Shinobu ARAI.
Ambiguous three-dimensional object: A carport roof This work gives you a completely different perspective depending on the vantage point. The two photographs are of the same carport. However, the roof looks dented when you look through a mirror. This work was created by Kokichi SUGIHARA.

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