Cognitive neuroscientist Al Seckel explores how eye tricks can reveal the way the brain processes visual information — or fails to do so. Among his other accomplishments: He co-created the Darwin Fish.

Why you should listen

Al Seckel takes great delight in visual illusions and the brain mechanics that they reveal. A cognitive neuroscientist who until 2005 was at the California Institute of Technology, he is the author of many books and articles and has compiled several eye tricks calendars. Seckel has designed interactive museum exhibits around the world that allow visitors to play with illusions and understand how they work.

He is a noted lecturer, a member of the Edge Foundation, a founder of the Southern California Skeptics, a campaigner against the teaching of creationism in public schools -- and co-creator of the Darwin Fish. Since leaving Caltech in 2005 to pursue writing and his own research, he has continued his work in spatial imagery with psychology researchers at Harvard.

Watch his 2010 talk from TEDxUSC: "[Y]Our Mind's Eye" >>

What others say

“Al Seckel is acknowledged as one of the world's leading authorities on illusions.” —

Al Seckel’s TED talk

Al Seckel on the TED Blog
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How easily we are fooled: The rotating grid illusion

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Filmmaker and animator David O’Reilly (who came up with the concept for iHologram) has noticed an interesting property in this animated GIF: He writes: While working in 3D last year, I discovered this optical illusion: A large grid seen rotating at a certain speed will appear to group itself into smaller grids, spinning independently. See […]

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