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Is Seeing Really Believing?

Gideon Caplovitz/UNR

There’s an old adage that 'seeing is believing' or 'I’ll believe it when I see it,' but can our eyes really be trusted?

In this Science Distilled episode, we are going to explore the power and limitations of perception. Why do you see one thing in an optical illusion while your friend might see something completely different? What is it about the brain that allows for these differences? And, what can a dog’s sense of smell help us understand about the world around us?

The topic was discussed at the Science Distilled Lecture series produced by the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum and the Desert Research Institute—both in Reno, Nevada.

Dr. Gideon Caplovitz is a cognitive neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Mary Cablk is a Nevada auxiliary deputy and an associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute. They both spoke at Science Distilled, and later with KUNR, about optical illusions, neuroscience, and animal behavior. 

Motion Illusion Examples:

Waterfall Effect (Motion Aftereffect)

135 Optical Illusions

Michelle Matus is a former membership and digital services coordinator at KUNR Public Radio.
Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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