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Open your mind
The latest Questacon exhibition unmasks the two very different worlds
of reality and perception.
The concept of visual perceptions was
first thought of by German polymath
Hermann von Helmholtz in the mid 1800s
when he concluded that human perception
relies on our knowledge of the world to
make sense of everything around us.
But how do we know what our brain
tells us is really true?
Perception Deception is the latest hands-
on exhibition at Questacon, and with
more than 25 interactive exhibitions and
17 multimedia activities designed to trick,
shock and amuse, you are bound to walk
away questioning all that you think you
Exhibition concept developer, Cindy
Chambers hopes the colourful and mind
boggling experience will evoke your sense
of intrigue and you may discover that
things really aren't what they seem.
"This fascinating exhibition was designed
to demonstrate how the brain takes in
sensory information, and how it can at
times get it wrong," Ms Chambers said.
"Illusions have fascinated humans for
centuries and we still do not know all
there is to know about how and why we
"The perceptual scientists and creative
minds featured in the exhibit range from
the 1900s to very recent ideas," she said.
Every second of every day, our brains
are filled with an immense volume of
sensory signals bouncing around ready to be
processed and edited.
This can cause our minds to falsely add
what it needs to make sense of the situation.
Every sense of your body
will be tested and tricked
when you visit the
exhibition, with multi-
sensory, sight, social and
This is how we create our perception of
the world around us. Our reality is really
only our perception --- and no two of us
perceive things exactly the same way.
Have you ever wondered if your body
really belongs to you? Or why your eyes
can make you sway? Why do you feel hot
and cold, and can your mind be tricked
into feeling this?
Every sense of your body will be tested
and tricked when you visit the exhibition,
with multi-sensory, sight, social and
You may think that your eyes are like a
pair of movie cameras, faithfully reporting
what you see, but in reality your brain
takes signals from your senses and adds
and subtracts its own information like a
When you hear, see or feel an illusion,
you'll realise your brain uses a bag of
perceptual 'tricks' to create your reality.
Such a false reality is created in
Perception Deception's 'Ames Room', where
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