The vacillating emotion some people see in Mona Lisa's smile is a mindtrick caused by different kinds of visual information going to our brains, according to researchers at the Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante, Spain. Apparently, there are different visual channels that deal with data about the size, clarity, brightness, and location of an object you're looking at. In the case of the Mona Lisa, what you see in her expression is determined by which channel is dominating at that moment. From New Scientist:
"Sometimes one channel wins over the other, and you see the smile, sometimes others take over and you don't see the smile," says Luis Martinez Otero, a neuroscientist at Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante, Spain, who conducted the study along with Diego Alonso Pablos...
So did Leonardo intend to sow so much confusion in the brains of viewers, not to mention scientists? Absolutely, Martinez Otero contends. "He wrote in one of his notebooks that he was trying to paint dynamic expressions because that's what he saw in the street."
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders won their respective primary elections in New Hampshire today. Trump, with about a third of the votes, prevailed over John Kasich, with Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush in a virtual tie for third as of 10:30 p.m. Sanders won 58% of the Democrat vote, to Hillary Clinton’s 40%; […]
The White House released an announcement today on President Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan. In thousands of not actually bad at all words about cybersecurity, they managed not to say the word “encryption” once.
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Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]