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Optical Illusion: What Do You See First, A Vase Or Two Faces?

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The optical illusion in question is simply called “Rubin’s Vase” (in English “Rubin’s Vase”) and was first created in 1915 by Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin. You will have seen the picture in question (which you will find at the bottom of the news) hundreds of times and in many different forms.

The work created by the psychologist, during his doctoral thesis, is a set of ambiguous or bidimensional forms. Due to the particular composition of the image, the viewer can immediately identify two different backgrounds: the vase or the two faces. Both images are consistent, but only one can be maintained at a given time.

Normally the brain classifies images according to which object surrounds the other, establishing in this way, among the many things, depth and relationships. However, things start to get more interesting when the contours are not easy to distinguish. In this case the brain must begin to “model” what it sees (such as, for example, in this optical illusion of colors).

This brain effect creates what is called an ambiguous image in jargon – something we have already seen within the illusion of duck or rabbit. Even today, the “Rubin Vase” is studied by cognitive scientists, who study the effects and response of our brain to the vision of the image.

What did you see first, a vase or two faces?

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