The Ouchi Illusion
- The Ouchi illusion, illustrated above, is an illusion named after its inventor, Japanese artist Hajime Ouchi. In this illusion, the central disk seems to float above the checkered background when moving the eyes around while viewing the figure. Scrolling the image horizontally or vertically give a much stronger effect.
The illusion is caused by random eye movements, which are independent in the horizontal and vertical directions. However, the two types of patterns in the figure nearly eliminate the effect of the eye movements parallel to each type of pattern. Consequently, the neurons stimulated by the disk convey the signal that the disk jitters due to the horizontal component of the eye movements, while the neurons stimulated by the background convey the signal that movements are due to the independent vertical component. Since the two regions jitter independently, the brain interprets the regions as corresponding to separate independent objects.
S., our conversation left me thinking about the question of images, and the ones we try to present of ourselves. It's funny, because I think a have a 'working me', a 'home life me' and a million other little mini-me's that people see throughout the days.
People who know me well, know all the insecurities and fears that chomp away at my ego. They know that I worry about my weight, my work, getting into law school, moving out of my parents' home, etc., etc. But to most others, I try pretty hard to keep up a front of maturity, confidence and stability.
In an ideal world, we wouldn't have to worry about letting our guard down. Work-place bullies wouldn't exist and neither would catty women who are just waiting to pounce. But, as a woman today, especially, we have to be careful about the image we create. All it takes is a tearful breakdown at work or two or a few ill-timed words during 'that time of the month' and we're seen as weak. How to fight fire with fire while recognizing that we're not robots, but human beings! (My office is all women and for once, we're all FRIENDLY, SUPPORTIVE and UNDERSTANDING!! What luck!)
On the other hand, home time for me, has been a time where I've made the least effort to censor myself or the 'real me', sometimes to the detriment of my relationships. Knowing that family will always be there has made it easy to take advantage of the home.
It's hard to find a balance between being 'you', being what you want others to see and nurturing relationships and loved ones.