The Science of Illusions

What are illusions?

Our senses are amazing. They have evolved to allow us to accurately experience a huge range of things – colours, shapes, sounds, textures, tastes, smells, heat, location, direction… 

Not only this, but we can accurately experience these things in very different conditions, from bright sunlight to the glow of a TV, from sweltering heat to frost, underwater, zooming past things in a car… the way your senses can adapt is remarkable. 

But because our senses are so powerful and flexible, very rarely… they get it wrong. This creates an illusion – when we fail to perceive things accurately and experience things that aren’t there. 

This is what makes illusions so special. They give us an insight into how we interact with the world, how our senses work, and show us how brilliantly our minds are able to get it right most of the time. The intriguing thing is that, even when we understand how an illusion works, our senses can keep getting it wrong. This is how illusions teach us about the philosophy and psychology of perception. And how they give us rare, mindbending experiences. 

Twist Museum has worked with philosopher Professor Fiona Macpherson and various artists to bring to life the science and philosophy of perception and illusion.


Book a ticket to Twist Museum and enter a playground for your perception to explore them all.