The Tower – Optical Illusion

This is a work of art created by graphic designer and painter István Orosz. He has produced many other illusionary images like this one.Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 7.01.41 PM In this image, the observer sees a cylinder that does not appear to have to same orientation from every angle. The brain cannot transform this 2D image into a 3D model, so we are not able to follow the cylinder with our eyes for a full rotation without it seeming like the visible face of the wall switches the way it is curving. To add to the confusion, you are almost forced to look at the wall a specific way based on the way the people are positioned in the openings, and the different ways that the people are sitting also do not sit in a position that would make it seem like a true cylinder.

This happens due to the constraints of the brain to produce 3D mental representation based on a 2D image we look at. The brain assigns a depth to every point of the 2D image. Looking at only a small section of the image, that small section is consistent with spatial perspective even though each section suggests a certain orientation or direction of continuation of the cylinder. But, when you try to look at the image as a whole, a spatial paradox results. This indicates that our visual system is limited in constructing 3D models or pictorial representations.

3 responses to “The Tower – Optical Illusion”

  1. Swathi Srinivasan says:

    This optical illusion is really cool! It’s interesting to see how our brains process 2D versus 3D models.

  2. Hannah Bukzin says:

    This illusion was really cool. I loved hearing about how our brains process 2D and 3D models

  3. Carlos Aizenman says:

    It is also cool because it doesn’t correspond to any possible physical shape, maybe a moebius strip.

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