The optical illusion, created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shows Marilyn Monroe from a distance, but at close range transforms into a portrait of Albert Einstein. Illusion gives an idea of how our brain perceives the details or scenes depicted in pictures.
You are definitely familiar with classic optical illusions. Maybe you saw a caricature from 1915, painted by Hill, called “My wife and mother-in-law”. Depending on how we interpret specific lines, the image may sound like either an old woman looking sideways or a young woman looking over her shoulder. The illusion created at the University of Massachusetts takes a few steps forward, giving an idea of how the human brain processes the image.
“Marilyn-Einstein” at first glance seems like a small, vague picture of a famous beauty. But then, as the image approaches, it turns into a picture by physicist Albert Einstein. Monroe’s features are blurry and vague, while Einstein’s are delicately drawn. These subtle details are only visible at close range, so the face in the picture changes as we approach or move away from it.
This optical illusion can emphasize vision problems ․ It is interesting that if the person looking at the picture has foresight, the order of Einstein-Monroe perception will change. Monroe ate closely, and Einstein ate at a distance. Due to this feature, this visual illusion also serves as a test to check myopia and hypertrophy of the eyes.
Deception refers to the strangeness of how the human brain processes visual information.
The team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which created the “Marilyn-Einstein” illusion, conducted a series of experiments in which participants were shown a hybrid image in different lines. When people saw the picture for only 30 milliseconds, they could only see Monroe ․ Their brains simply could not distinguish the small details of Einstein’s face, no matter how close or far they were to the image. When they saw the picture for 150 milliseconds, they saw Einstein, but not Monroe.
Experiments show that our brain prefers different details of a picture or scene. If we see the picture for a very short time, we have “low spatial resolution” information, the total size of what we see. If we look at the same image a little longer, we can catch the smaller details.
The team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes that our brains first process low-spatial resolution information before going into details.
Illusions tell us a lot about our brains. To get an idea of how unlimited our ability to perceive the world is, how the perspective changes everything, we must appear in the world of illusions at least once.
This illusion is not the only deception with the “participation” of Einstein and Monroe. In our museum you will see the physicist endlessly watching you, and the blonde beauty disappearing as you approach.