by Benjamin Radford via Discovery News
We’ve all seen the ads, banners, commercials and books hyping the benefits of “brain training,” offering games and puzzles that promise to keep your brain in tip-top shape as you age. Diseases such as dementia are terrifying, and millions of people do their best to stave it off though online games, crossword puzzles and so on.
As a recent Scientific American column noted, “cognitive training — better known as ‘brain training’ — is one of the hottest new trends in self improvement. Lumosity, which offers web-based tasks designed to improve cognitive abilities such as memory and attention, boasts 50 million subscribers and advertises on National Public Radio. Cogmed claims to be ‘a computer-based solution for attention problems caused by poor working memory,’ and BrainHQ will help you ‘make the most of your unique brain.’” It all sounds very impressive and scientific.
While it’s important to stay both mentally and physically active in our later years, there’s little evidence that most of the commercially-sold brain enhancement methods or pills do any good. In fact the scientific community pours cold water on these fanciful myths.
In late October the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Berlin Max Planck Institute for Human Development gathered many of the world’s leading cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists to examine these brain games and programs. It then issued a statement that read in part:
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By James Dean via Mighty Optical Illusions
Many people have a hard time grasping what the meaning behind an optical illusion really is. I am no exception to the rule although I try my best to decipher the true meaning behind these works of art! Depending on the illusion, I can sit there for what seems like forever and never really get to the bottom of it. This Tetrahedron wasn’t any different for me. After looking at it for a little while, I still couldn’t quite grasp what the whole point of it was. It only appeared to be a spinning triangle that boasted a variety of colors in the image itself.
You tell me. What did you get out of this animated gif? Am I totally missing something in this simplistic piece of art? Did you notice how the color changes as the Tetrahedron spins around? The way the light reflects through the image is pretty cool and not something I would have ever thought of on my own. In reality, this thing is so simple that it shouldn’t be as intriguing as it is. Yet, I find myself sitting here and staring at the thing as it rotates round and round changing color along the way.
From green to brown to green to brown, the color changing technology in this Tetrahedron is something that you have to watch and observe to gain a full understanding of the illusion. Even though it looks like a triangle to me, that doesn’t mean you are going to think the same thing. Everyone has their own opinion on what optical illusions are cool and which ones they find boring or uninteresting. Take the time to explore this rotating shape and see what you get out of it. Maybe you will see something that I didn’t, but for me, it really was something simple and amazing all at the same time.