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boy with video camera
 

boy with video cameraSummer 2001 webcast

The way we perceive the world is complex and intriguing. Like the smile on the Mona Lisa, the world around us can be seen in many different ways. We can investigate seeing by examining the physiology of the eye, making a simple "flip stick," and building a dynamic Zoetrope.

Eye Physiology

How we see depends primarily on physiology. While there are differences in the way people and cows see, the basic structures are the same for both. Light reflects off objects around us and leaks into the brain through the pupil in the eye. The light then triggers a chemical reaction that sends electrical impulses to the visual cortex. You can learn all about this process by watching the full cow's eye dissection.

 

Basic Motion
With just two frames, you can create the illusion of motion. On a 3 x 5 index card, draw a simple bird with its wings pointed up. On a second card, draw the same bird, only with its wings pointed down. Tape the pictures, back-to-back, onto a pencil. Flip the pencil back and forth to watch your bird fly! This happens because your brain "sees" the bird with its wings up then "sees" the next drawing with the wings down. Your brain fills in the in-between motion. This kind of "filling in" by your brain is what makes visual illusions work. Watch our explanation!

 

Eye Physiology

The Zoetrope was invented in the mid-19th century. With a Zoetrope, a series of slightly different pictures revolve inside a spinning drum. To view the motion, you must look through slots. What you brain "sees" is one picture, then a slightly different picture. It has the same effect at the flip stick: Your brain "fills in" the missing motion. Learn more about how we built our Zoetrope.

 

Basic Motion
Watch our Webcast for more information on how we perceive our world. Live on July 24, 2001. Click here to watch!

 

The stars of Science Wire's Me, Myself and Eye webcasts:

Aaron Suk
Aaron
Suk
Allan Luu
Allan
Luu
Brian Estill
Brian
Estill
Bryan Chan
Bryan
Chan
Bryan Khird
Bryan
Khird
 
Dylan Child
Dylan
Child
Isabel Chan
Isabel
Chan
Jana Ng
Jana
Ng
Jennifer Pore
Jennifer
Pore
John Mei
John
Mei
Nune Baghdia
Nune
Baghdiyan
Kevin Yu
Kevin
Yu

Tony Chan
Tony
Chan
Julin Lowe
Julian
Lowe
David Trong
David
Trong
 
 
Ryan Williams
Ryan
Williams
Sasha Gorin
Sasha
Gorin
Shaleek Finelay Shaleek
Finelay
Suzana Liu
Suzana
Liu
 

 

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copyright Exploratorium 2001