Monday, November 4, 2013

Ames Room Explained

An Ames room is a distorted room that creates an optical illusion. It was invented by an ophthalmologist named Adelbert Ames Jr. in 1934. The room looks like an ordinary room from the front, but really, it is grotesquely misshapen. The shape of the room is actually trapezoidal with slanted walls and the ceiling and floor on an incline. The right corner of the room is much closer to the front then the left corner. Because of how an Ames room is built, a person standing in the left corner appears to be incredibly large, while a person standing in the right corner appears to be a giant. As a person walks to one corner from another, they appear to grow or shrink in size. Even though we are knowledgeable people, our brain simply will not let us see that this is an illusion. Below is a picture of an Ames room that I found to be the most visually explanatory. Here  is a video of V.S. Ramachandran briefly explaining why and how the Ames room illusion works on our brain.

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