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Does it take longer for an older person to see a picture in an optical illusion than a younger person?
Question Date: 2013-01-06
Answer 1:

Age does change our nervous system. We often learn more, get better judgment, and understand complex things as we age, but we also lose some things. Our senses are not as sharp and our reaction time slows down. Sometimes the same things that make us more efficient make us more likely to make mistakes.

One site that I readoptical illusion suggests that as we get older, our brains use a lot of information to take shortcuts in understanding what we see. This is helpful most of the time, but these shortcuts make our brains easier to trick. For example, our brains learn the sizes of things. So I have a good idea of how big a dime is. When I see a picture of something next to a dime, my brain quickly decides how big that object is. That is almost always a useful shortcut. Now lets say that someone took a disk the size of a manhole cover and made it look like a dime. If you took a picture of the giant dime next to a car, I would think the car was a toy. I wouldnt look for other size clues, my brain would just take the size-compared-to-a-dime shortcut. I got this idea from an artist who actually does something like this


Another study science daily shows that even babies can be fooled by some illusions.

Remember that illusions are almost never something that you would see in real life, so most of the shortcuts are very useful. The tricks just help us to see the shortcuts.

I hope that you arent worried about your brain slowing down as you get older. One way to stay sharp is to keep challenging your brain. You can do logic, word, or math puzzles, read challenging books, and learn new things to keep your brain healthier. Staying active will keep your whole body healthier, and that includes your brain.

Heres a question to challenge your brain. Do you think that animals can be fooled by optical illusions?

Thanks for asking,

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